Buckingham old gaol to exhibit rare gold coin from richard III era

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Buckingham Old Gaol is to launch what it calls Its ‘most ambitious exhibition yet’ on 2nd October 2021, according to the following press release (edited for brevity).

Titled, ‘Richard III and Buckingham’s half-angel’, the exhibition’s centre piece is a rare gold coin from the reign of Richard III. The coin was found within the Buckingham area by a local metal detectorist, Dave Bethell. The coin was due to go to auction and likely to be sold to an overseas collector however, Dave was keen for the coin to remain in Buckingham and the Old Gaol was given a chance to buy it. The coin was bought with donations from supporters of the museum from far and wide, as well as grants from the Art Fund, the V&A and the Richard III Society.

The exhibition has been held up for almost two years by the pandemic, but will finally be open to the public on Saturday 2nd October. The coin is one of only seven known to exist and will be the only one on public display anywhere in the world.

The rarity of the coin and the notoriety of Richard III inspired the museum to create an exhibition on the subject. It tells the story of how the coin was found, the meaning of the symbols on the coin and the life of Richard III and his friend Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The exhibition has seen support from the Rothschild Foundation covid recovery fund.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 1pm on 2nd October 2021. The opening ceremony will take place earlier, at 11am outside the Old Gaol. Re-enactors dressed as Richard and a couple of his retinue, will be mingling with the crowd, talking about Richard. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, the Mayor of Buckingham and Hélène Hill, the chair of the Old Gaol Trust, will be opening the event.

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