Skip to main content

Find Spot record MDR15060 - Late Iron Age and Roman coin hoard, Reynard's Kitchen Cave, Dovedale

Type and Period (2)

  • (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • (Late Iron Age to Roman - 30 AD to 70 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

An excavation at Reynard's Kitchen Cave, Dovedale has unearthed a hoard of Late Iron Age and Republican Roman coins. The initial discovery of four coins was made by a member of the public, which led the National Trust to carry out the full excavation. In total 26 coins were found, including three Roman coins that pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43. Twenty other gold and silver coins are Late Iron Age and attributed to the Corieltavi tribe. The tribe is usually associated with occupying areas further east during the Late Iron Age. This is the first time coins of these two origins are thought to have been found buried together in a cave in Britain. The coins have been cleaned by conservation specialists at the British Museum and University College London and will go on permanent display at Buxton Museum later this year. Another significant find was a decorated Roman 'Aesica' type brooch, dating to circa mid 1st century AD. (1) A hoard of 26 coins was discovered in 2014 during excavations at Reynard's Kitchen Cave. Twenty of these coins are Late Iron Age in date; 6 of gold alloy, and 14 of silver. A decorated Roman Aesica type brooch was also discovered. It has a central rib and fantail foot, decorated with incised grooves to form a V shape. The type is named after Aesica, a fort on Hadrian's Wall, where brooches of this type were part of a hoard that was found in 1894. The find was initially made by a local climber, who reported his finds to the Finds Liaison Officer and the National Trust. To climb up to the cave, you pass beneath Reynard's Arch, a spectacular 20-foot high natural bridge, which would have once been part of the cave. The cave itself measures about 14m long by 5m wide at the entrance, down to less than a metre at the back. The views from the cave are spectacular, and it is thought that the cave may have been a sacred place for Late Iron Age people. It is known to have been used at various times in the past 10,000 years. An earlier excavation revealed prehistoric flints, animal bones, pieces of pottery and other evidence of occupation. A series of 17th century witch marks was also found on the cave walls, carved to ward off evil spirits. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Unpublished document: The National Trust. 2014. Press Release 04/07/2014: Late Iron Age and Roman Coins Discovered in Cave.
  • <2> Article in serial: Smith, R. 2015. 'The Hoard in the Kitchen', in Archaeology and Conservation in Derbyshire, pp. 4-5.



Grid reference SK 1451 5251 (point)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3670

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 12 2015 3:10PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.