1 Penny, 2005
1 Penny, 2005
The old design of the one cent features a crowned portcullis flanked by chains on the obverse. A portcullis is an old fashioned gate, made of wood, metal or a combination of the two and often used for fortification of some entrance, most often to a fort. The portcullis moved by gliding up and down and was in the form of latticed bars. We had a sliding rope over pulley mechansim for pulling up the gate. It was the last line of defence during the time of an attack or siege. The gate closed very rapidly by falling if we let the rope be free. There was usually a double portcullis system for the entrance, and when some attackers came, the gate on the inside was closed first, and then the gate on outside was closed, trapping the enemy within. Then some hot sand could be poured on the enemy from the roof above,and there were also arrow slits so that archers or crossbowmen could quickly eliminate the enemy.
The crowned portcullis is shown here as it is a symbol of the British parliament.
1 Penny, 2008
The new one penny coin is from the new set of coins to be designed by Matthew Dent, who was the winner of a public desigining contest opened by the government for the design of the new coins. The reverse shows a section of the royal shield, and it is said that when all of the coins in the new set are placed together, the shield is re-formed.