Who among us hasn’t dreamed of one day stumbling across some buried treasure?
A UK pub owner may not have found “pirate booty,” but he is toasting to his good luck as he found a 15th-century coin beneath the floorboards of a pub he purchased and is renovating.
David Gorton was renovating the Grade II listed pub when he pried up the wooden floor beams and found what he thought was an old penny in the dirt below.
He’d sucked it up in a vacuum cleaner but got it out and then stuck it in his back pocket to look at later in the day, and when he did, he realized it was an Oliver Cromwell silver shilling dating back to 1658.
Further research showed that coins of a similar age have been put up for auction for £12,500, (nearly $16K US), and now David believes it could have been dropped by a drinker three and a half centuries ago.
David, who runs the Old Cottage in Margate, Kent, said, “There was a clunk noise, and I thought I’d hoovered an old nut or bolt.
“But I emptied it later and saw it was a coin. I didn’t think anymore and put it in my pocket.
“Five hours later, I washed it off and thought, ‘Oh my God,’ it could be something quite rare.”
David bought the derelict pub – itself dating back to the 1650s – in 2009 and has been restoring it ever since. During the reno of the pub, David also uncovered a 17th fireplace, and some stone cannonballs, which date from the 1600s.
David added, “We’ve not done much research [on those] yet. But [the coin] is easily the oldest relic we’ve come across, excluding cannonballs, perhaps.”