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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Sheppey Civil War Hoard.
by Peter E Leach.

On 28th August 1968, a hoard of hammered silver coins was found on the site known as Clark's Farm (NGR TQ 9382 7276) in Sheppey, which is being developed as the entrance for a new school. The coins totalled 115 and comprised 27 halfcrowns of Charles I, the remainder being shillings of Edward VI to Charles I, all were Tower silver with the exception of two halfcrowns minted in York. The latest initial mark was the sceptre (1646-9) which suggests a probable date of deposition of 1648 in the Second Civil War. Another, less likely, date is 1667 with the Dutch occupying Sheerness only two miles away. The coins were in an inverted crock set on half a roofing tile, 18 inches below original ground level.

The site has been inhabited for several centuries at least and the County Archivist has established its ownership and occupancy for the relevant period. In 1631 it was bought by Sir Edward Hales (believed to have had Royalist sympathies); the deed states the occupier to be a widow, Elizabeth Bateman and it may be significant that the will of her husband, proved in 1630, shows him to have been relatively wealthy. Her own death occurred in April 1650 (Minster Parish Register) and her will shows her to have maintained an interest in Clarke's Farm; she may therefore still have been in occupation at that time.

Other enquiries -- still continuing -- are as to whether the hoard was concealed in the garden or below the floor of a building since destroyed. Early OS maps shown me by Mr Kelly of Maidstone Museum indicate a pond near, and also buildings, on the site of the hoard --the buildings must have been timber, for no traces of foundations have been found in excavations there. The Archaeological Division of the OS have been most helpful and have suggested several useful lines of enquiry; any further suggestions or help with old maps, by readers of KAR will be welcome.

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