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royal mint aberystwythDid you know……

Aberystwyth had its own Royal Mint in the 1600′s and produced its own coins. One of these actual coins is shown in the picture to your left.

The mint was located at Aberystwyth Castle, and was given permission to produce coins by King Charles I.




In the 1630′s King Charles I was running low on money. In a search for more money, he earmarked Mid Wales, with its huge natural resources, including a number of silver mines as a potential place for minting more coins.


Mines such as Cwmsymlog produced large amounts of silver which was at first shipped to the Tower Mint in London, at great expense to the King. However, this journey became so expensive and also so dangerous as bandits targetted the loads of silver being transported the couple of hundred miles to the capital.


On 30th July 1637 permission was granted for Aberystwyth to mint its own coins for the crown, after a request was made by Thomas Bushell who worked a number of the local mines for the mint. Production started in 1639 and the mint was closed 3 years later in September of 1642, and was moved to Shrewsbury. After further moves, the mint was also located at Furnace, which is 12 miles north of Aberystwyth on the road to Machynlleth for a brief period in 1648.


The Aberystwyth mint produced a range of coins including groats, half crowns and shillings along with a range of one two and three pennies and also half pennies. By the time it closed it had produced £10,500 of coins, which was equivalent to around 2.5 million pennies. Two distinct marks on the Aberystwyth coins confirm their authenticity. Firstly the presence of the Prince of Wales feathers confirms the coins are made of Welsh silver, and the presence of an open book shows that the coins were minted in Aberystwyth Castle.


One theory as to why the castle was so badly destroyed by Cromwell several years later in 1649 was that the castle was used as a mint by the King, and as such was a potential source of revenue.

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