Rare 350-year-old coin to be returned to Pontefract Castle

​A siege coin struck at Pontefract Castle more than 350 years ago is coming home after a successful auction bid by Wakefield Council.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27th February 2020, 8:52 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 8:52 am

The coin was made in early 1649 during the third siege of Pontefract Castle. King Charles I had just been executed and Pontefract Castle was the only remaining Royalist stronghold.

Making the coins was a way to highlight the defiance of the garrison, against Oliver Cromwell’s army, by creating new coins in the name of the exiled heir, Charles II.

Coun Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council, said: “I am so pleased our bid was successful and that these coins will be coming back to Pontefract Castle after 351 years.

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Successful: Coun Jacquie Speight with the siege coin. Photo: Porl Medlock

“It is wonderful to have such an important part of our history that will go on display for everyone to see and enjoy.”

Siege coins were used to pay the soldiers, to buy and sell food inside the castle, and to pay individuals to risk their lives gathering food outside the Castle walls during the siege.

The cost of acquiring the coin was paid half by the Purchase Grant fund, which is provided by Arts Council England and administered by the Victoria & Albert Museum, and half from a museum fund supported by visitor donations.