The Galloway Hoard
- Queen's & Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer
The Galloway Hoard is the richest and most significant collection of Vikingage objects ever discovered in the British Isles.
It was found by a metal detectorist in 2014 and comprises more than 100 objects of gold, silver and jewelled treasure from the British Isles, the Byzantine Empire and possibly beyond. The hoard was buried in two layers, with the upper layer made up of 11 flattened and folded arm rings, 11 ingots and an unusual silver Anglo- Saxon pectoral cross. The arm rings are of Hiberno-Scandinavian design, and the pectoral cross is decorated with Trewhiddle-style ornament surrounding four Evangelist symbols. The lower layer included 30 more silver arm rings and 15 ingots, a separate bundle of unflattened arm rings, the remains of a small wooden box containing three gold objects, and a silver-gilt lidded vessel filled with many more rare and precious finds. The vessel, made and finely decorated in a Carolingian or Byzantine workshop, is extremely rare, and the only one ever found complete with its lid. The objects discovered inside include five decorative glass beads, silver-mounted pendants, and a silver-mounted rock-crystal ball, which might already have been centuries old when it was buried. Further down in the container were several Anglo-Saxon brooches (quatrefoil example pictured). At the bottom were hidden the rarest and most precious items, including a pair of mysterious hinged silver mounts and a varied collection of Viking-age gold objects. These include an exceptionally fine filigree gold pendant and a gold ingot. The three additional gold objects found alongside the remains of a wooden box comprise a plain ring, an ingot and an exotic bird-shaped pin with fine niello-inlaid engraving. As well as the gold and silver items, the hoard includes remains of its textile wrappings and packing materials. These are extremely rare survivals and include examples of silk and leather. The hoard is thought to have been buried in the early 10th century and might have been hidden by Vikings in retreat, or by others in fear of a Viking raid. Its acquisition by National Museums Scotland now offers an extraordinary opportunity for research into the lives and possessions of people during the Viking age.
The Hoard was buried c. AD 850-950 in Galloway, Scotland. In 2014 it was discovered by metal detectorist Derek McLennan of Beyond the Beep, and reported to the Treasure Trove Unit. The Hoard has been claimed by the Crown and has now passed through the Tre