A recent find of the groups that has just been verified by the Portable Antiquities Scheme is this coin of Edward I.
It is listed on finds.org.uk under reference LVPL-361C79
The coin is a rather worn long cross silver penny dating from May to December 1279. It was minted at the Canterbury mint.
The National Archives on nationalarchives.gov.uk have a currency converter and for the year 1280 they give the value of a penny as a modern equivalent of approximately £2.89.
Edward I was King from 1272-1307 and was involved in wars in both Wales and Scotland.
He was the English king portrayed in the film Braveheart which was about as historically inaccurate as any film can possibly be and this and other historical films errors might well be the subject of a future article !
Upon his tomb in Westminster Abbey is inscribed in Latin script “Edward the First Hammer of the Scots” . However it was in Wales that Edwards authority was stamped
The Welsh wars started in 1277 and both Flint and Rhuddlan castles in North Wales were under construction at the time this coin was minted in 1279.
A second war broke out in 1282 which resulted in the construction of further castles including Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech and the death of the last Welsh born Prince of Wales – Llewelyn ap Gruffydd.
A further rebellion happened in 1294 and Beaumaris Castle was built after this was quashed.
Vast sums of money for the period were spent on the castles. Fortunately for historians many records actually survive in relation to the expenditure on the castles and detail both materials costs and wages.
Flint castle cost around £7000 including workers wages and Rhuddlan around £9200.
Not surprisingly given our areas proximity there were a number of local connections to the Welsh castles and it is highly likely that some of that money found its way here. Of 26 medieval coins listed as being found on Wirral 8 are from the reign of Edward I.
A lot of the stone for Flint Castle was quarried at Ness and was ferried across the Dee to the construction site.
Timber for the Welsh castles came from the Kings forests at Chester and Toxteth.
One of the named masons is Robert of Frankby.
There was a pathway across the Dee from the castle at Shotwick through to Flint and this path is still shown on maps from the 1700’s
The engineer in charge at Flint was a Richard L’Engenour who was paid a shilling a day. He was an ancestor of the Duke of Westminster and lived in Lower Bridge Street in Chester. He was later Mayor of Chester in 1304.
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