Viking hoard could stay in Lancaster

Darren Webster holds a Viking arm ring which was part of a hoard of Viking treasure he found in September this year near Silverdale in north Lancashire.The hoard compromising of coins rings and arm rings was on show at the British Museum, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 14, 2011. The hoard, which includes more than 200 coins and pieces of jewellery, was found in September by Darren Webster using a metal detector on land around Silverdale in north Lancashire. It includes a coin that is thought to refer to a previously unknown Viking ruler in northern England and also coins from the time of Alfred the Great - who reigned 871/99 - and from the Viking kingdom of Northumbria. See PA story HERITAGE Hoard. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Darren Webster holds a Viking arm ring which was part of a hoard of Viking treasure he found in September this year near Silverdale in north Lancashire.The hoard compromising of coins rings and arm rings was on show at the British Museum, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 14, 2011. The hoard, which includes more than 200 coins and pieces of jewellery, was found in September by Darren Webster using a metal detector on land around Silverdale in north Lancashire. It includes a coin that is thought to refer to a previously unknown Viking ruler in northern England and also coins from the time of Alfred the Great - who reigned 871/99 - and from the Viking kingdom of Northumbria. See PA story HERITAGE Hoard. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

CITY councillors hope a Viking hoard found at Silverdale could end up being displayed locally.

The British Museum says Lancaster City Museum would be the “ideal place” for the hoard of of more than 200 Viking coins and pieces of jewellery.

And its policy of trying to put collections back in the area close to where they were found could see the exhibits put on permanent display in the city.

The hoard was found in September 2011 by metal detector enthusiast Darren Webster.

It was declared treasure by a coroner in December and is currently being valued. Any proceeds from its sale will be divided between Mr Webster and the landowner.

The hoard contained coins bearing the name of a previously-unknown Viking ruler of northern England. Unusually, one coin in the collection was found to be a forgery.

Members of the city council’s cabinet agreed this week to try to secure the hoard for the district.

Council leader Eileen Blamire said once the value is known, the council would have three months to find the money needed.

They will apply for Heritage Lottery funding but will also appeal to the public to help.

“If we can keep it in Lancaster we think it would be a real boost for tourism,” Coun Blamire said.

“I am disappointed to think that it might go to London because it would be wonderful for people to be able to visit it in Lancaster. We are not going to let the hoard go without trying to raise the money.”

The valuation is expected to be known in July.

In a joint statement, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council said: “The hoard of Viking silver found in Silverdale last year is a very significant discovery.

“The Treasure Valuation Committee will announce its valuation in due course.

“After the announcement is made, both the councils will look at the financial implications of securing the hoard and the longer term strategy for its conservation, research and interpretation.”