U3A Beau Street Hoard project on display

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is putting its work on the Beau Street Hoard on display in Bath Central Library from May 5 – 9.

U3A volunteers who have been working on the Beau Street Hoard project
U3A volunteers who have been working on the Beau Street Hoard project

Volunteers from U3A groups from Norton Radstock and Bath have been working with Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services team at the Roman Baths. They have photographed 17,577 Roman coins found in 2007 below the foundations of the new Gainsborough Hotel in Beau Street, just a short distance from the Roman Baths where some of these coins are now on permanent display.

Bob Piper, who has been leading the U3A team, said: “Our display will showcase all the tasks that the U3A have been involved with as well as featuring stories from volunteers about their involvement with this very successful Heritage Lottery Funded project. As well as learning new skills and being able to research the emperors and their lives through examination of the coins, our U3A members say they have also benefited at a more personal level from being involved in this project.”

The Beau Street Hoard was excavated by archaeologists on the site of the Gainsborough Hotel development in Beau Street, Bath, in 2007. The Roman coins span the period from 32BC – 275AD and were found in eight separate money bags, which were fused together. No one knows how they got there, why they were put there, or why no-one ever returned for them; the mystery behind them has led to many interesting theories, but no actual fact.
In March 2014, Bath & North East Somerset Council was awarded a grant of £372,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to purchase the hoard, which is now on permanent public display in a new interactive exhibit within the Aquae Sulis Gallery at The Roman Baths.

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