Natalie McCaul, Curator of Archaeology at the Yorkshire Museum, holds a unique Viking silver neck ring from the Bedale Hoard
An appeal by the Yorkshire Museum for £50,000 to secure the Bedale Viking Hoard has been successful (see our earlier feature here). The 9th century hoard was discovered by metal detectorists Stuart Campbell and Steve Caswell last year and includes a gold sword pommel, a neck ring and collar (above) gold rivets, half a silver brooch and no less than 29 silver ingots. Its true value however lies in what it will tell us about the Viking presence in Yorkshire 1,100 years ago.
The (York) Press reports that –
…thanks to generous donations from the public and grants from funders, the £51,636 has been raised so the hoard will remain in Yorkshire on public display. Archaeology Curator Natalie McCaul said: “It is fantastic that the public and funders have helped us keep this spectacular hoard. We would like to thank them for their generosity.”
The North Yorkshire finds liaison officer of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Rebecca Griffiths, based at the Yorkshire Museum, was also involved in the original find. She and her colleague from the museum then went to the site and unearthed the rest of the hidden treasures. Natalie added: “The hoard is incredibly important. It is going to tell us things we never knew before about Viking fashion and jewellery and how fashions changes and style ideas moved around in the Viking world. Members of staff of our team went out to excavate the hoard which is also unique. To have been there from the discovery helps us tell the whole story.”
An appeal launched in January saw The Art Fund and the Victoria & Albert Purchase Grant Fund both contribute £11,000. But local people and organisations who have asked to remain anonymous provided the vital cash to clinch the deal. The hoard was on temporary display in the museum entrance during the fund-raising. It will go away for cleaning and conservation work before being returned for permanent show as part of the Capital of the North medieval exhibition. Ms McCaul added: “If we had not raised the money to buy it it could have ended up in a private collection anywhere in the world.” The money will be split between the finders and the landowners as a reward for handing in the jewels.
The Yorkshire Museum has said that more donations are needed to preserve the Hoard for future generations. To donate to the Museum please contact email@example.com