A collection of Roman coins minted almost 1,700 years ago have been handed to the Three Rivers museum after they were dug from the bottom of the Heronsgate Reservoir.

The ancient coins, as well as a number of clay pots, were uncovered by Affinity Water during the excavation of the reservoir between 1977 and 1978. They were initially stored by the water company before the decision was made to hand them over.

Tim Monod, company secretary and director of legal and regulation at Affinity Water said: "Affinity Water is pleased to hand over the coins to the museum where they can be displayed and viewed by the public."

The coins were commissioned by Emperor Constantine in 330 AD to celebrate the founding of the new city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) on the ancient Greek city of Byzantium.

Robert Simpson who received the coins on behalf of the Three Rivers Museum said: "The collection is a great addition to the museum’s exhibits and demonstrates some ancient local history."

The artefacts are not expected to go on display in the museum until July.