THEY WERE buried in a Hampshire field during the Roman era and remained hidden from the world for centuries.

Now more than 1,600 coins are set to go on show to the public following the success of a major fundraising campaign launched by TV historian Dan Snow.

The award-winning St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington has secured the £30,000 it needs to buy the artefacts and put them on display.

Dan, who lives in nearby Lepe, said: "I'm so excited that the hoard will be staying here in the New Forest where it belongs.

“The museum will be able to do it justice thanks to the amazing amount of money raised in this campaign. I can’t wait to see it."

The coins - said to be worth about £7,500 - will be bought from the British Museum in London and displayed at the new-look St Barbe complex when it re-opens later this year after major refurbishment.

Dan was joined by schoolchildren dressed as Romans when he launched the fundraising campaign last October.

As reported in the Daily Echo the appeal received a major boost when US executive Richard Beleson - an avid coin collector - vowed to donate £7,500 if the people of Lymington did the same.

At the end of last month the campaign has still slightly short of its target but Mr Beleson agreed to increase his donation to £9,657.

St Barbe's director, Mark Tomlinson, said: “We're tremendously thankful for Mr Beleson’s great generosity. We would also like to thank everyone else who has donated to this campaign."

The third century coins were found buried in a field near Warbourne Farm, Boldre, in 2014.

They were taken to the British Museum and declared archaeological treasure by a coroner. The museum wanted to keep some of the rarer artefacts but St Barbe was determined to keep the hoard intact and put it on show to the public.

But St Barbe needed to raise tens of thousands of pounds to purchase the hoard, carry out vital restoration work and build a secure display area.

A museum spokesman said: "There are many theories as to how the coins came to be buried in a pot in the ground.

"Dan Snow’s favourite theory is that the owner, terrified at impending violence and disorder, buried his fortune – but somehow met his fate before he could dig it up again."