In May 2012 metal detectorists exploring in Bedale, North Yorkshire, stopped in an open pasture to examine a potential find.

Digging beneath the soil, they uncovered a large stone; removing the stone revealed a layer of iron plate fragments. Underneath the plate they discovered one of the most significant and intriguing Viking-age hoards found in recent years. Now known as the Bedale Hoard, the objects discovered include many pieces thought to be unique for the period. Of particular significance is the iron and gold sword pommel: decorated with interlace animals, the pommel is the largest of its type in existence, and the only known example in the Anglo-Saxon ‘Trewhiddle’ style. The bulk of the hoard is made up of silver jewellery originating from sites as wide-ranging as Ireland and Russia. Of the jewellery, a remarkable four-strand silver collar stands out: visually striking and featuring an intricate design, it is a singularly weighty and ostentatious piece. The method of burial suggests that the objects carried a high value: pieces of lead sheet found at the site suggest the hoard was deposited in a lead container, while the iron plate placed above the pommel was most likely laid over the objects for protection.


Found by metal detectorist, Stuart Campbell, in May 2012.

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