A HOARD of Roman coins more than 1,700 years old is set to be unveiled at a York festival.

The Wold Newton Hoard, the largest Roman hoard of its period to be found in the North of England, is returning to the Yorkshire Museum and will be on display at this year’s Eboracum Roman Festival, from June 1 to 4, following extensive conservation.

The hoard dates to 308AD and contains more than 1,800 coins, many of which are extremely rare and hold great national significance.

It includes coins from the time of the Emperor Constantius, who died in York.

A special event will be held at the museum in honour of the hoard on June 1, from 6.15pm to 8.15pm, featuring a talk by Dr Andrew Woods, curator of numismatics at the attraction.

Dr Woods said: “Thanks to generous public donations of more than £44,000, the Yorkshire Museum were able to acquire this unique and fascinating find in November 2016. Since then, it has undergone extensive conservation.

“What makes this hoard so significant is that no hoard of this size from this period has ever been discovered in the north of England before.

“The last coins added to the hoard are those of Constantine the Great, just as he began to rise to power.

“This was a pivotal moment in York’s history but also the history of the western world. It was a time of great uncertainty in the empire, as different Roman powers looked to challenge Constantine’s claim as emperor.”

The hoard was discovered by metal detectorist David Blakey near the village of Wold Newton, East Yorkshire, in 2014.

He filmed its discovery and immediately reported it rather than emptying it out which has allowed archaeologists the rare opportunity to excavate it in different layers to see how coins were added to the vessel.

It contains 1,858 Roman copper coins in a ceramic vessel. The coins, known as nummi, are around 3cm in size and represent the typical currency of the fourth century.

At the time of burial the hoard was worth the equivalent of a legionary’s annual salary, three year’s salary for a carpenter or six years for a farm labourer. It could buy 700 chickens, 2,000 of the finest fish or 11,000 pints of beer.