OCs Day Trip to the Royal Mint and Dyffryn House & Gardens
The recent OC's day trip to the Royal Mint and Dyffryn House and Gardens in South Wales
Loads of money!
The OCs enjoyed a great day trip on May 2nd, first we visited the Royal Mint in Llantrisant in South Wales. It is a very secure site but tours are available and well worth it. As the venue is indoors it didnt matter that the heavans opened!
A very interesting place, we were able to watch coins being made for the UK and a number of other countries from around the world. Approx 90 million coins are minted every week. We went behind the scenes to follow the journey of a coin from a blank to a bank, each minted coin tells a story. Sadly we couldn’t touch any! There was an opportunity to strike your own coin £2 pound coin which some on our tour did. We learnt a great deal about coins and I will now ALWAYS check my change as the occasional mistake has been made and these coins are highly sought after by collectors who are happy to pay well to get hold of any. The two most amazing are - an old penny minted in 1933. There were only 8 pennies minted that year as there was plenty in circulation, a worker in error (or not) minted a handful of coins and they were sent out into the big wide world, one recently sold at auction for a vast sum. The other was a gold sovereign with King Edward’s head on it, only 3 were made awaiting his approval by which time he abdicated so no more were ever made, one of these went to auction last year and sold for more than half a million pounds, sadly i doubt you will find one of these in your change.
The Royal Mint story - More than 1,000 years ago British coins were made by hand at many locations across the country in small blacksmiths workshops, coins were often made of silver and nicks used to be stolen off many of these hand made coins by those making them to help line their own pockets, so a better system with more security was required. The story of our Royal mint began with Alfred the great of Anglo Saxon England and a silver penny. This was struck at a particularly lively time in England’s history as Alfred resisted attacks from Viking invaders. This silver penny was minted in London. The Tower of London became the sight for all minting in 1279 and for the next five hundred years in an area in the Tower’s inner and outer walls which are still called Mint Street to this day. It saw many Royal dynasties come and go and moved from hand struck coins to a fully mechanised operation. In 1696 Isaac Newton was appointed as warden of the mint, in 1699 he became master of the mint until his death in 1727. Then in 1810 the mint was moved to a new site at Tower Hill, London where it remained until its move to Wales in 1968.
We then left the mint and travelled onto a Dyffryn House and Gardens an Edwardian house now owned by the National Trust. The sun came out and shone for us which made the visit even more wonderful. Dyffryn house stands at the heart of its gardens. It is Listed at grade II* status, it had been remodelled from an earlier mansion and was completed in 1892-3. The Cory family were industrialists and made their wealth through coal. The house provided a secluded family home within commutable distance of their business interests across south Wales. The house came to the National Trust in 2013 without a collection with no interior collections or furniture. The house is going under a slow restoration and is well worth a visit. The gardens are beautiful and we can recommend a stroll where you will surely be inspired. There is also a cafe where we were able to have lunch and afternoon tea and cake. Our next OCs day trip is to the Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent on August 16th, Please let me know if you would like to join us. Tracy
Report on the AGM of the Old Colstonian Society held on Tuesday 22nd April 2016
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