Gladiators – old and new!

Ancient and modern! Youngsters from Moorlands Junior School with Roman figures from the past!
Ancient and modern! Youngsters from Moorlands Junior School with Roman figures from the past!

Youngsters from Moorlands Junior School and gladiators – old and new – helped launch an appeal to raise money towards bringing one of the most important hoards of silver Roman coins ever found in Britain – back to Bath.

Nearly 18,000 coins – carefully hidden in eight bags, were found in a pit beneath a Roman building – discovered just 150 metres from the Roman Baths – back in 2007.

Gladiators - old and new -  Bath Rugby's Ben Williams and a Roman soldier.
Gladiators – old and new – Bath Rugby’s Ben Williams and a Roman soldier.

They have now been separated, conserved and cleaned at the British Museum. The Roman Baths is raising £60,000 to purchase and display the hoard for everyone to see. The coins could be back in Bath by the end of next year.

Olly Woodburn from Bath Rugby with the youngsters.
Olly Woodburn from Bath Rugby with the youngsters.
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An appeal poster for everyone to read!

Today – alongside the Roman Baths complex fifty Year 3 youngsters enjoyed playing Roman games alongside costumed characters from the age of Aquae Sulis and Olly Woodburn and Ben Williams  – complete with laurels – from Bath Rugby Club.

Stepehen Clews, Manager of the Roman Baths and Cllr Neil Butters who is Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Stepehen Clews, Manager of the Roman Baths and Cllr Neil Butters who is Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Then the Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset, Cllr Neil Butters, officially launched the appeal.

It is hoped there will also be a South West roadshow in which a mobile display will tour towns and villages across the region. There will be drop-in days at the Roman Baths and  family story-telling activities using the hoard as inspiration.

Applications will also be made to Heritage Lottery and other bodies to help pay for the hoard.

I asked Stephen Clews, the Manager of the Roman Baths and Pump Room, why it was so important the coins came back to Bath.