Virtual Museum

                                                                 1600s and before
Above: A beam support, removed from one of the older Ashburton buildings. Made by blacksmiths for centuries, it could be of any age up until the 19th century.
With thanks to R Bligh

Right: A tradesman's token from the 1600s.
Below and below right: Another half penny, which, if the writer of a letter below is correct, was possibly issued by the town itself.

Images © Dix Noonan Webb, coin, banknote, medal and jewellery specialists. Many thanks to Ian Kington, photographer, and DNW for permission to use these images.

See also All About the Money, under the Home tab.

'These were tradesmen's tokens, and were originally intended for the convenience of shopkeepers whose credit was good, coined by them and circulated, till some abusers of that liberty occasioned their prohibition.
When current, those who coined them were, if solvent, obliged to give or account for their amount in silver on demand; they being only meant as pledges for such compensation...
...And if a private person's credit was sufficient to stamp a temporary value on such currency, much more might that of a body corporate occasionally coin and issue such halfpence in payments within their jurisdiction.'
Letter to the Gentlemen's Magazine, London, 1791, p403
Illustration between pages 100 and 101