This year's annual trip took us to The Royal Mint at Llantrisant, and what a fascinating experience it turned out to be! 1,100 years of history in coins. Initially, mints were not large factories but more like blacksmith's shops, often operated by a part-time moneyer who travelled from town to town to meet local demand for coins.
For nearly half its existence The Royal Mint was located inside the Tower of London until it moved to nearby Tower Hill in 1810. Although housed today in a modern factory at Llantrisant, specialist skills and expert knowledge has been passed down by staff over hundreds of years. The action of striking a blank disc with a 'heads and tails' by means of a single blow from a hammer still forms the basis of what is done at The Royal Mint today.
Still on show today, an Alfred the Great Penny c.880AD, inscribed with the name 'LVNDONIA' represents the start of The Royal Mint's long history. A Sovereign, struck on 10 November 1975 was the very last coin to be made by The Royal Mint in London. Today, The Royal Mint is the world's leading export mint, striking coins for as many as 60 different countries around the world. 'From Wales to the World'.
Following the fascinating experience at The Royal Mint we repaired to another experience - Spanish style cuisine at the 'Braseria El Prado', Laleston. Olé.