Culture and Heritage - Hungerford's jewel in the crown

on 20 May 2013.

Hungerford has so much to offer and Hungerford Online wants to tell the world all about it! From its central position at the heart of the North Wessex Downs – an ideal point from which to tour – and its beautiful waterways and marsh through to Hocktide, HADCAF and its fabulous Victorian Extravaganza there is always a reason to be in Hungerford.

And, of course, there is the fascinating Hungerford Virtual Museum which holds information about so many treasures, including the secret of the Town Coffer!

The Town Coffer

The Keepers of the Keys of the Common Coffer opening the Town Coffer in June 2007 (Stewart Hofgartner, Tyrrell Bossom and Humphrey Hope). Bellman Robin Tubb looking on.

 

The Town Coffer, the original container for the towns valuable documents and possessions, is rarely seen nowadays, being kept safely in the vaults of a local bank.

It is thought to have dated from the 14th or 15th century, and was described in some detail in "The Case of the Missing Charters, 1573".

It was damaged or fell apart in the early 19th centuryand is said to have been rebuilt in 1806, from the same oak.

There are three keys - one each held by the "Keepers of the Keys of the Common Coffer" - who are usually past Constables. It requires all three to be used in order to open the coffer. The keys are of a different age to the locks, and each turns "backwards".

Find out more about the Hungerford Town Coffer

Written by Hugh Pihlens and reproduced by kind permission of the Hungerford Virtual Museum

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