Silverdale Hoard coming to York for major new display | JORVIK Viking Centre

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Silverdale Hoard coming to York for major new display at JORVIK Viking Centre

Exhibition opens 8 February 2022

An incredible collection of silver jewellery and coins, found in a lead container buried in Lancashire, is set to form the centrepiece of a new year-long display at York’s JORVIK Viking Centre.  The Silverdale Hoard, dating back to around AD 900, will arrive for a year-long exhibition on 8 February 2022.

The Silverdale Hoard is one of the largest Viking hoards ever discovered in the UK, and has been loaned to JORVIK Viking Centre by Lancashire County Museum Service.  The full hoard contains over 200 pieces, with key pieces – including arm rings, hacksilver, ingots and coins, plus the lead container in which they were buried – displayed in dedicated cases in JORVIK’s artefacts gallery.

“This is the first time since its discovery that the Silverdale Hoard has been displayed outside of Lancashire, where it was unearthed by metal detectorist Darren Webster in 2011,” comments Christine McDonnell, Head of Collections and Archives at the JORVIK Viking Centre. “With thousands of people coming to JORVIK every week to learn about the Vikings, we’re extremely excited to be able to host this remarkable collection for the next 12 months.” 

Whilst the provenance of hoards is always mysterious, raising questions as to the reason anyone might have for burying all of their valuables in a random field, and what stopped them from returning to collect them – the content often gives a valuable insight into life and society at the time it was buried.  Several Viking-age hoards have been discovered along the route between the centres of Scandinavian power in Dublin and York, including the one found at Silverdale.

“Items made of precious metals like silver would often be used as bullion currency. Hoards provide historians with a snapshot of society at the time they were hidden.  This hoard, for example, features a coin minted in the name of Harthacnut – a ruler whose name was previously lost to history.  Other coins show the broad connections of the Viking world, from Northumbria to Baghdad” adds Christine.

A special free virtual presentation marking the arrival of the Silverdale Hoard will take place in February as part of That JORVIK Viking Thing, the online Viking festival.  Dr Gareth Williams of the British Museum will explain the hoard’s significance and the steps the British Museum took to conserve the find in a free online lecture.  For more details, please visit jorvikthing.com

“With the postponement of JORVIK Viking Festival from February to May, we’re pleased to be able to announce the arrival of the Silverdale Hoard for anyone still planning to make a trip to the city during the February half term,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby.  “We’ll be announcing another special treat shortly, so our advice for any Viking enthusiasts is to get tickets booked for a half-term visit to JORVIK Viking Centre as soon as you can – even without the physical Viking Festival, we’re expecting it to be busy!”

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services at Lancashire County Council, said, “As one of the largest Viking hoards to be discovered in Britain, the Silverdale Hoard is not only important to Lancashire where it was found, but to the nation as a whole.

“Our museum service is delighted that it will be going on show at JORVIK Viking Centre, one of the country’s premier museums, and we hope it will inspire and captivate the many thousands of visitors who see it.”

For more information, or to book a ticket to JORVIK, please visit jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk

ENDS

Photos: Please credit the photographs of the Hoard to Lancashire County Museum Service.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:
Jay Commins
Pyper York Limited
Tel: 01904 500698
Email: jay@pyperyork.co.uk