Silverdale Hoard to be unveiled at Lancaster City Museum

  • Published 13 October 2013

A major collection of Viking silver is to go on display in Lancashire – close to where it was discovered.

In September 2011, a metal detectorist discovered a hoard of Viking jewellery and coins buried under a field in Silverdale, Lancashire, in a lead pouch. A few months later, it was officially declared as Treasure under the the Treasure Act 1996 and valued at almost £110,000.

Now known as the Silverdale Hoard, the collection is made up of more than 200 items believed to date from around 900 AD – including jewellery, coins from Viking kingdoms in Britain, Europe and Arabia, and 141 fragments of arm-rings and ingots, which had been chopped into smaller pieces. These are known as hacksilver, which the Vikings used as money.

We’re pleased to announce that Lancashire County Council has been successful in its attempt to keep the hoard in the county – thanks to donations from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (£45,000), the Art Fund (£33,000) and the Victoria and Albert Purchase Grant Fund (£18,000).

The Silverdale Hoard will be on display at Lancaster City Museum from 25 October, before moving to its permanent home at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston, where it will be on show from February 15 to December 7 2014, before further research and conservation work takes place.

The Art Fund’s Director, Stephen Deuchar, said, “As one of the largest Viking hoards to be discovered in Britain, this collection comprising 200 items of silver coins, jewellery and ingots is not only important for Lancashire, but for the nation as a whole. Now part of the museum's collection, we are pleased to have supported the acquisition and an imaginative engagement programme that will enable the local community as well as the region’s many visitors to celebrate and learn about Viking culture in the north west.”