Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, the Army and the Great Fire of London will be appearing in pockets, purses and piggy banks in 2016 as they are set to feature on new coins.

The Royal Mint said each of the new coins gives a snapshot of Britain over the last 1,000 years, marking key moments, organisations and people that have shaped the nation.

The histories, comedies and tragedies of William Shakespeare are represented on £2 coins marking 400 years of the Bard's literary legacy.

A 50p coin honours Beatrix Potter, the author and artist whose illustrated animal tales have delighted generations of children worldwide, on the 150th anniversary of her birth.

The year 1066 is a date imprinted on many a schoolchild's memory - along with the fate of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings - and features on a 50p coin 950 years after the battle.

The Great Fire of London, an event that changed the face of Britain's capital city, is to have its 350th anniversary commemorated on a £2 coin.

The Royal Mint's five-year programme marking the centenary of the First World War continues with a £2 coin remembering the community pride that fuelled the rise of the "Pals" battalions, bearing a poignant design reminiscent of the art deco styling of the time.

Each coin bears the fifth definitive portrait of the Queen by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, first introduced to UK coinage in 2015.

Anne Jessopp, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: "It is always exciting to see the new year's designs revealed, commemorating the moments that matter, and revisiting some of the great events and stories from our history.

"The British public should start to see these coins appearing in their change from spring 2016."