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Dr Richard Kelleher

Assistant Keeper

After studying Archaeology at Winchester (then King Alfred’s College) and working as a field archaeologist for Wessex Archaeology in the early 2000s, Richard completed the Museum Studies MA at Leicester (2004). He subsequently worked in the Coins and Medals Department of the British Museum (2004-2013), first as a Museum Assistant and then Project Curator for the ACE-funded Money and Medals Network. He completed his PhD (Durham) in 2012 under the supervision of Professor Chris Gerrard and Doctors John Naylor and Barrie Cook on the use of coins in medieval England and Wales, which used metal detected material as a source for the first time. He joined the Fitzwilliam Museum in 2013 and is Assistant Keeper of the museum’s medieval and modern coins, medals, tokens and banknotes. He was awarded the British Numismatic Society’s Blunt Prize in 2014.


Research Interests

Coinage of medieval and early-modern Europe and in particular questions concerning the monetisation and use of coins in England from the Norman Conquest to the seventeenth century.

The interaction of monetary systems in contested and conquered territories such as the Crusader States, the interpreting of single finds and excavation assemblages for understanding the dynamics of money use in urban and rural areas, and the ritualised or votive secondary uses to which coins were put either by placement in specials contexts or by their manipulation into jewellery and religious objects.


Recent/Major Publications

‘Old Money, New Methods: Coins and Later Medieval Archaeology’, in The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval British Archaeology, edited by C. Gerrard and A. Gutierrez, Oxford University Press (Oxford 2018).

'Pilgrims, pennies and the ploughzone', folded coins in Medieval Britain', in Divina Moneta: Coins in Religion and Ritual edited by Nanouschka Myrberg Burström and Gitte Tarnow Ingvardson, (London, 2017)

A History of Medieval Coinage in England, Greenlight, 2016

‘The re-use of coins in medieval England and Wales c.1050–1550: An introductory survey’, Yorkshire Numismatist 4 (2012), pp. 183-200.

‘The Tutbury Hoard of 1831’(with G. Williams), in Tutbury: ‘A Castle Firmly Built’ Archaeological and Historical investigations at Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire, edited by M. Hislop, M. Kincey and G. Williams, British Archaeological Reports 546/Birmingham Archaeology Monograph Series 11, Oxford, 2011). 62-87.

‘Reused coins in the English later medieval period (c1200-1600)’, in M. Carver, and J. Klápste (eds.), The Archaeology of Medieval Europe Vol. 2. Twelfth to Sixteenth Centuries, (Aarhus, 2011), 267-8.

‘Coins in Context: Archaeology, Treasure and the Portable Antiquities Scheme’, in The British Museum and the Future of UK Numismatics (with I. Leins), Edited by B. Cook (London, 2011), pp. 18-24.

‘Interpreting single finds in medieval England – the secondary lives of coins’ in Proceedings of the XIV International Numismatic Congress, Glasgow, Vol II, edited by N. Holmes (Glasgow, 2011), pp. 1492-99.