UK: 17th-century gold coins found under kitchen floor - couple awarded £745,000

It's the dream of a couple from the British town of Ellerby, near Hull.

UK: 17th-century gold coins found under kitchen floor - couple awarded £745,000

It's the dream of a couple from the British town of Ellerby, near Hull. The two had bought an 18th-century house and renovated it bit by bit. When they went to fix the kitchen floor by removing some of the old floorboards, they made an unexpected discovery. One that will now surely help them continue to fund the renovations...

Because what the couple found under the floorboards was nothing more than a classic pot of gold. A large amount of coins, several hundred years old. Apparently someone had once hidden them here, in a clay jar, to keep them for the future, and never got around to either retrieving them themselves or telling their descendants about the hiding place. And so the treasure lay undisturbed for more than three hundred years, hidden in the kitchen of the old house.

There are 264 coins in total, dating from the period 1610 to 1727. Historians have since been able to trace the treasure's history back to a wealthy local merchant family: the Maisters. These had accumulated a small fortune through intensive trade with the port cities on the Baltic Sea. The family headquarters are still in an imposing town house in Hull, but they also had a presence in Ellerby. A daughter of the family had married there: Sarah Maister lived there with her husband Joseph Fernley, and she continued to live there after being widowed.

Possibly it was Sarah, who died in 1745, or her husband before that, who once hid the pot of gold under the kitchen floor. In any case, it was a real blessing for the couple who finally found it: The Ellerby treasure is considered one of the largest gold coin finds in Great Britain and has now been auctioned - experts estimate it at 250,000 British pounds. So: current British pounds. But it ended up being sold for a whopping £745,000.

Sources: "Yorkshire Post", "NBC News"

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