Contact us on 01851 705743 or
email info@welovestornoway.com

Benbecula metal detectorist Donald MacPhee has uncovered a curious slice of history while sweeping his croft for treasure.

In the space of an hour, he found a privately-minted copper coin, a George V ha’penny, a George VI penny, and a copper ring.

Donald, the owner of Nunton House Hostel, explains the John Wilkinson iron master coin is hundreds of miles away from where it could be spent.

Privately-minted copper coins were distributed in specific areas in the 1780s.

Interestingly, John Wilkinson’s coin is the only copper coin not to have the bust of a Royal, as the businessman used his own image instead.

Comments Donald: “How it ended up in Nunton is anyone’s guess.”

However, this numismatic curiosity isn’t the first piece of history Donald has dug up.

In November, he discovered a late 17th-century coin on Nunton beach. The coin is believed to date back to the reign of King Charles ll, is a ‘bawbee’ and was probably minted between 1677 and 1679.

The likely dating of the coin puts it at least 70 years before Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Charles II’s great-nephew, was in the Western Isles while fleeing the aftermath of the 1746 defeat at the battle of Culloden.

Nunton House Hostel was once the residence of the MacDonalds of Clan Ranald and played a significant role in the Prince’s escape 'over the sea to Skye' with Flora Macdonald the following year.