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Mysterious East Wiltshire

John Conduitt

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This is a coin from a tribe usually referred to as 'East Wiltshire' but whose name is unknown. Pretty much nothing is known of them, other than they seem to have been a distinct group inhabiting a small territory to the north of Salisbury Plain between the Dobunni (around modern Gloucestershire) and the Atrebates (around north Hampshire). They struck gold and silver coins (the evidence of their existence) for a couple of decades, although they started later than most other tribes. They were then subsumed by one of their neighbours (probably the Dobunni).

'Potterne Moon Head' Unit, 50-20BCimage.png.c423a9388bd70dbad3abd6f11f200df1.pngVale of Pewsey, East Wiltshire. Silver, 11.6mm, 0.96g. Moon head right, large sunburst on chin, crescent hair, stalk lips. Feather-tailed horse left, large wheel below, pellets and annulets in field (S -; ABC 2131).

Their territory was very close to Stonehenge, but to put that into perspective, the East Wiltshire tribe's coins were struck both 2000 years before today and 2000 years after Stonehenge was completed. The stones must have been mysterious to them as they are to us.

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