Herefordshire Hoard to go on display at JORVIK Viking Centre

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A unique collection of coins and jewellery is set to join the displays at JORVIK Viking Centre in February, when the Herefordshire Hoard takes pride of place in one of the central display cabinets within the world-famous museum.

The Herefordshire Hoard has been loaned to York Archaeology by its owners, Herefordshire Council. The Herefordshire Hoard currently comprises 29 silver coins, one silver ingot, a beast’s head gold bracelet, a rock crystal pendant and a gold ring. It would have been buried around AD 878, and represents the first evidence of the Great Viking Army in Herefordshire.

“We will never know why these precious objects were buried – perhaps as a way of keeping them ‘safe’ as the owner went off to battle – but they reveal new information about politics in the south in the late 9th century. Some of the coins demonstrate an alliance between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex at a time when the unification of England was taking shape,” comments Christine McDonnell, head of collections for York Archaeology. “Our display of the Silverdale Hoard was hugely popular with visitors, and although slightly smaller, the Herefordshire Hoard has a similarly fascinating story to tell. We are incredibly grateful to be able to share this with visitors to JORVIK Viking Centre.”

The Hoard has an interesting history, with the collection now in the safe hands of the team at Herefordshire Museum Service believed to represent only around 10% of the original find. Discovered in June 2015 by metal detectorists in a field near Leominster, it is believed that most of the hoard has been sold on the black market. The perpetrators have since been sentenced to over 23 years in prison, but the items illicitly sold have not been recovered. The remaining items from the Hoard – which as ‘treasure’ was owned by the Crown – returned to Herefordshire following a fundraising appeal.

Damian Etheraads, Herefordshire Council’s museum and art gallery lead said: “The Herefordshire Hoard is an amazing collections of objects which throw light on a little known but significant episode in English history. It’s fitting for the Hoard to go on display at JORVIK and we are very pleased to be able to share the story of the Hoard more widely. We are grateful to our supporters and funders the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust, Herefordshire Museum Service Support Group and individual givers who made it possible to acquire the Hoard as well as to JORVIK Viking Centre for sharing its story.”

The Herefordshire Hoard will remain on display in York until the summer. JORVIK Viking Centre is open daily (closed 24-26 December) all year round. For more information or to book tickets, please visit jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk

ENDS

Photos show two of the items in the Herefordshire Hoard: a rock crystal pendant and a gold ring.

Please credit images to: National Museum of Wales and the Portable Antiquities Scheme

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel: 01904 500698

Email: [email protected]

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