ALMOST six month’s pay earned by a soldier fighting in the English Civil War will provide a windfall its finder.

The 18 silver and gold coins uncovered in a garden in Nerrols Farm, Taunton, totalled £5 5s 3¾d – 5½ months’ wages for a common soldier in the 17th Century and £450 in today’s value.

But the hoard, probably belonging to a Royalist soldier and left during the siege of Taunton in 1645, could fetch thousands of pounds when it is bought by the town’s Museum of Somerset.

An inquest, which concluded the coins are treasure, heard how they were found by a young man in October as he took down a tree in his parents’ garden so they could build a workshop.

His mother told the hearing in Taunton: “He saw something glistening so he took it out and realised it was a coin.

“He started to dig deeper and eventually found 18 coins in total.”

The coins – 13 from England, four Scotland and one Ireland – date from between 1601 and 1645.

It is thought they were possibly stashed in a leather purse, which has since rotted away.

A report from The British Museum says: “The coins belong to the reigns of James I and Charles I and the period they cover and the denominations present are very similar to many other recorded coin hoards from the mid-17th Century, the period of the English Civil War.

“They are a highly selected group of good condition, high value coins and do not simply reflect the general coinage in circulation at the time.”