Valuable old coins in a shabby cardboard box were found stuffed in a drawer at Scotney Castle in Kent.
The National Trust acquired the castle in 1970, but it did open to the public until 2007 following the death of the last member of the Hussey family.
Generations of the Hussey family where known to have hoarded a huge number of objects. Volunteers have spent years carefully going through boxes, drawers, and antique cupboards to catalogue the objects.
The most interesting and perhaps the most expensive item was recently discovered, a disintegrating cardboard box containing 186 coins, most of which are Roman. The coins were probably collected by Edward Hussey and his son Edwy in Victorian times. Edward Hussey wrote that he aimed to collect the coins of all the English kings and queens. If he succeeded, this collection could be somewhere in the castle, but it has not turned up yet.
The coins are to be displayed at Scotney Castle for visitors to see. Also displayed are other finds in the castle including letters from Wallis Simpson and Margaret Thatcher, the latter of whom once rented a holiday flat at Scotney Castle.
There are still many unseen items in the castle. Volunteers continue to open antique cupboard drawers and cabinets in search of further treasures to add to the castle exhibitions.
There are many fine antique wardrobes for sale in Cumbrian antique shops, and who knows, maybe their draws contain old cardboard boxes full of treasure?
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