AN urgent fund-raising appeal has been launched to keep the largest haul of treasure found in Worcestershire in the county.

Museums Worcestershire has just four months to raise the £40,000 needed to acquire and conserve nearly 4,000 Roman coins found on Bredon Hill last October.

The discovery of the coins, thought to be once owned by a Roman soldier, was made by metal detector enthusiasts Jethro Carpenter and Mark Gilmore, and revealed a previously undiscovered Roman site.

If enough money is raised it is hoped that the coins, which are currently held in the British Museum, can be displayed at a number of venues across the county.

More than 3,000 visitors came to see the hoard when it went on display for a short time at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Museums Worcestershire is now hoping residents will continue to support the campaign after nearly £1,400 was raised after the initial discovery.

Philippa Tinsley, senior curator, collections and interpretation, for Museums Worcestershire said: "We made a brilliant start to the campaign to keep the hoard in the county last year and we're hoping residents across the county will show their support and make a donation. Every little will help to keep this wonderful treasure in the county where it belongs."

The majority of the coins, dating from between 244 and 282AD, were found inside a storage jar of the same period and feature 16 different Roman Emperors.

Research undertaken by Worcestershire Archaeology and Archives Service with the British Museum indicates the hoard was buried nearly a century after it was accumulated – the only known such British example – meaning the Worcestershire hoard is of national significance.

People can make a donation by visiting the online giving page charitychoice. or the Museums Worcestershire website museumsworcestershire.

Donations can also be made by texting COIN11 and the amount of money to 70070 or by popping into the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, Foregate Street, Worcester.