‘I remember it as if it was yesterday’ says man who found medieval coin

Gary Richardson who is now 66 years old found medieval coin in 1966 in Ramsey

Gary Richardson who is now 66 years old found medieval coin in 1966 in Ramsey - Credit: Gary Richardson

A former Ramsey school boy has contacted The Hunts Post to tell the story of how he found a medieval coin in 1966.

Gary Richardson, now aged 66, who lives in Bournmouth, contacted reporter Alex Collett, after he read the article in last week's Hunts Post. to say he was the schoolboy who found the coin.

He said: "I finally feel like I am getting my five minutes of fame."

Mr Richardson went on to explain what happened all those years ago when he discovered the Canute coin in the grounds of the then Ramsey Modern School.  

Gary said: “I was astonished when I found the coin, at the time, we were having a lesson on how to plant and grow crops. 

“I remember it like it was yesterday, I had a spade and was digging in soil which must have been six to nine inches deep. 

“I was just turning over some soil when I saw what looked like a sixpence, I cleaned it up and saw that it had the shape of a helmet on one side of the coin. 

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“I took it straight to my teacher and he didn’t believe at first that I had found a distinct coin. 

After Gary gave it to his then history teacher Mrs Chapel, she realised it was an old coin dating back to possibly 1024. 

The Hunts Post, took a picture of him at that time and it was published in the paper, along with the story. 

Gary said: “I was quite surprised when they valued the coin to only be worth £22 and 10 shillings, I thought it would have been worth more than that! 

“It was displayed in a glass cabinet in the school and I saw it there until I left.”  

He then went on to do a carpentry apprenticeship and worked at two companies in Huntingdonshire, Singfields in St Ives and Conwell in Godmanchester.  

He also worked as a funeral director at Peacocks for a year, in 1976 when he got married. 

Gary has two children and now grandchildren and moved to Bournemouth in 1983.  

The Ramsey Abbey Community Archaeology Project has an exhibition called ‘Treasures of Ramsey Abbey’ which it hopes to open on April 3 at the Norris Museum, St Ives with an information area at Ramsey Library.  

The coin will be held on display at the exhibition. 

To find out more about the exhibition or research email: r.abbeycp@hotmail.com 

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