The Royal Mint
reveals they have acquired a rare Gothic Crown retailing at £13,700, originally issued during the era of Gwrych Castle
Former Resident of I'm a Celebrity Castle, Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh was an avid Coin Collector
Rare, historic coins offer a glimpse into history and is early example of collectible coins
As this year's series of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' returns to Gwrych Castle in North Wales, The Royal Mint
is showcasing their collection of historic Gothic coinage and asking, did these coins ever see within the walls of the Gothic castle?
Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint
, comments: "We recently acquired a beautiful Victoria 1847 Proof Gothic Crown as well as a number of other Gothic coins and as with all coins, we delve into the history and story behind every piece. This masterpiece was struck during the heyday of the castle and given the time period, we found ourselves asking whether this beautiful coin ever made its way to Gwrych Castle in North Wales?"
The Gothic Crown was not intended as a circulating coin so would not have been used as currency but due to its beauty and rarity, people avidly collected them at the time, demonstrating just how long coin collecting has been around for. They were not readily available (with just 8,000 produced), so even at the time, they were incredibly sought after.
Dr Mark Baker founder of the The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust comments: "Gwrych Castle was built between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh as a memorial to his mother's ancestors and we know from our archives that he was indeed an avid coin collector. I would imagine he would appreciate the beauty and also the rarity of this particular coin and I too wonder if one of The Royal Mint
's Gothic Crowns ever graced the walls of the castle."
Dr Baker continues: "As an archaeologist, his primary passion was Roman and Iron Age coins but as he was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, he also took a keen interest in medieval architecture, art and archaeology."
In the 1960s a hoard of coins, now known as the Llys Awel Hoard, was found above the castle, and may have formed part of a larger cache of coins that had been collected by Bamford-Hesketh. These are currently on display at the National Museum Wales.
Rebecca continues: "The story of coins and the history that surrounds them - what were they used for, who's hands could they have passed through, what point in time did they see - It brings a whole different facet to coins, especially historic coins. Aligning historic coins with contemporary culture such as the infamous, temporary home of 'I'm a Celebrity' contestants is a great way for people to understand that these collectable pieces are part of the fabric of our society."
Introduced in 1847, the Gothic Crown portrait of Queen Victoria was created by William Wyon, former Chief Engraver at The Royal Mint
. Queen Victoria wears a dress embroidered with roses representing England, thistles representing Scotland and Shamrocks, which represent Ireland. This was the first time since the coinage of Charles II that a monarch wore a crown on official British coinage. The Royal Mint
originally sent the coins to the Bank of England for distribution, except for around 400 pieces, that were retained for issue by senior Mint staff.
For more information about The Royal Mint
's historic coin offering, visit https://www.royalmint.com/our-coins...toric-coins/