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Pocket Tours, iPhone guides and tours

#Alongthewallin80days - Day 74

Samantha's picture
Mon, 27/10/2014 - 10:39 -- Samantha

If you havent visited Chesters Roman Fort to see Coventina's Eagle there isn't long left!

The Egal is made from around 3000 bronze coins. The Roman coins used in the eagle came from a hoard discovered over 150 years ago by 19th century lead miners. Prospecting for minerals in Northumberland they stumbled upon a square enclosure with a shaft at its centre. Local businessman, landowner and enthusiastic antiquarian, John Clayton led an excavation of the shaft alongside John Collingwood-Bruce, a specialist on studies of Hadrian’s Wall and the shaft turned out to be a shrine to a hitherto unknown goddess, Coventina, known even now from only two other sites in the Roman world.

The shrine the men discovered was packed with offerings, some rich, some crude, some unique, and included 14,000 bronze coins, the majority of which were later transferred to the trust of the British Museum, where they have remained since. Around 3,000 coins could not be identified and these were melted down and re-cast into an eagle which would adorn Collingwood-Bruce’s elaborate neoclassical bookcase.



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