Hoard receives Royal visit on the day that fundraising total reaches £820,000

  • 19 February 2010

This morning, the Prince of Wales became the first Royal to handle the Staffordshire Hoard in 1,400 years. The Royal visit coincides with news received by The Art Fund that the Staffordshire Hoard campaign fundraising total has now reached £820,000.

His Royal Highness handled two artefacts from the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found: a highly detailed crumpled gold cross and a decorative gold stud with millefiori glass thought to be of Celtic origin.

Today (19 February) Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited an exhibition of 118 items from the hoard at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent. Experts believe the craftsmanship of the seventh century treasures to be of high enough quality to have belonged to ancient kings.

Their Royal Highnesses visited Stoke-on-Trent to celebrate the centenary of the federation of the city’s six towns. As well as the Potteries Museum, they also visited the Bethesda Chapel, Town Hall, Emma Bridgewater Pottery and Dudson Group.  

Councillor Hazel Lyth, cabinet member for economic development and culture, said: "The Staffordshire Hoard offers a wonderful glimpse into our ancient past and we are thrilled to give Their Royal Highnesses the chance to see and handle some of these treasures."

Prince Charles’ ancestors date back to Anglo-Saxon times, most notably through Ealhswith, the wife of Alfred the Great. She was the granddaughter of the Mercian kind Wigmund and great-granddaughter of Wiglaf, both from the 820s and 830s.

The exhibition at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery includes 40 items of the Hoard that have never been seen before. In the first five days of the display the exhibition attracted 10,000 visitors, including people from Essex and Cornwall and visitors from as far afield as South Carolina in America, and Sweden. The exhibition will run between 10am – 5pm every day until Sunday 7 March.

The Royal visit coincides with news received from The Art Fund today that £820,000 has been raised for the campaign to date, with over £300,000 coming from public donations. A total of £3.3m needs to be raised by 17 April in order for the Hoard to be saved for the West Midlands.

To donate to the Hoard please visit www.artfund.org/hoard or call 0844 415 4004.

Ends

Press release

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