Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Castle Street




tel: +44 (0)1228 6187568







Contact details: Tim Padley


Date of visit: TBA


Nature and extent of collection


11,000 pieces. Objectives of the service:

•To Care for and develop the City’s museum collections for benefit of present and future generations

•To inspire learning and enjoyment

•To develop sustainable service through business activity and effective partnerships

•To contribute to Carlisle’s regional and national status as a centre of cultural significance

The coin collection pre 1700 is part of the archaeological collection, while post 1700 falls under the remit of the Social History curator.


The main collecting area is Carlisle and its district, but for historical reasons the archaeological collection has material from much of Cumbria (The old Cumberland and Westmorland) and would continue to collect from these areas if they relate to existing holdings. Also, in specific and exceptional circumstances we would collect from outside the area to make sure that material was preserved in the public domain. Finally, we are the repository for material from the western end of Hadrian’s Wall.



All numbers below are estimated


Greek: 55

Roman: 6000

British coins: 1900

British tokens: 1200

Modern and paper money: 80 banknotes - local, national and international; some world coinage

Medals (commemorative or military): 550

Paranumismatica: Uncertain. Many Roman and some 18th Century gaming counters; food and bus tokens

Other: Some items in the Social History collection


Specific strengths: Roman coins, especially from the western end of Hadrian’s Wall and the City of Carlisle including siege coins. However, the breadth of the collection, much of it from donated collections is also a strength.The Cumbrian tokens and bank notes are also important.


Library: Between 30 and 50 volumes with specific strengths in Roman coins and tokens. General books on coins with some specialist books like volumes of RIC





Database used: MODES Complete


Proportion of collection on database: About 60%


How much detail in database entries? Variable from full to inventory records


Are images incorporated? Yes, but only a small proportion of database entries have them.


Is the database accessible to the public? No.


Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so? No.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? Only as part of other displays.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? None that were solely numismatic.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? There is no dedicated space for study purposes, but members of the public wanting to look at the collection can be accommodated under supervision.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Yes.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? Not as such, but numismatics are included in the collections conversation programme and schools loan boxes.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes as part of general sessions.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes as part of other topics.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? No.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes and it is a part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? General knowledge and experience with the curators of Archaeology and Social History


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes: David Shotter  - Roman Coins; Dot Boughton – Medieval Coins and PAS.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? N/A

Tullie House