Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,516 pages of information and 233,947 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Royal Mint

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c.880 Minting of coins for Alfred the Great carried a monogram for "London"

c.1280 Expenditure was recorded on Mint buildings in the Tower of London.

c.1540 The few remaining ecclesiastical mints closed during the reign of Henry VIII. From then on the Royal Mint was normally the only mint in operation.

1601 Portcullis money was struck for the East India Co, one of the first export orders undertaken by the Royal Mint.

1662 Screw presses and horse-driven rolling mills were installed at the Mint

1663 The ancient method of striking coins by hand was finally abandoned

1696 Appointment of Isaac Newton as Warden.

1699 Newton became Master, remaining in post until his death in 1727.

Late 18th century: Introduction of steam-driven minting machinery, to replace the old hand- and horse-operated machines.

1810 Moved to purpose-designed buildings on a new site on Tower Hill, London. The new buildings were designed by Sir Robert Smirke.

1853 Minting of base metal coinage sub-contracted to Birmingham Mint

1855 Professor Thomas Graham was appointed the Master of the Mint, the last time that an executive officer held this position.

1869 William Chandler Roberts-Austen was appointed Assayer to the Mint

1870 Following the appointment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as ex officio Master of the Mint, day-to-day administration devolved onto the Deputy Master.

1882 Professor Roberts-Austen became Queen's Assay Master

WWII To secure the coinage against the effects of any long-term stoppage at Tower Hill, an auxiliary mint was set up in one of the Pinewood Cinema Studios near Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire. It closed in 1945.

1947 Much of the work concerned making imperial and colonial coins, and foreign coins for certain countries which did not possess a Mint of their own.

1967 Work began on the site of the new Royal Mint at Llantrisant in South Wales.

1968 First coins struck at Llantrisant

1975 A gold sovereign was the last coin struck at Tower Hill

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Royal Mint Museum [1]