Treasure goes on show – but not for long

The Silverdale Hoad, copyright  of the British Museum trustees
The Silverdale Hoad, copyright of the British Museum trustees

The Siverdale Hoard will go on display in Lancaster next week, but it won’t be staying in the city.

The 1,100-year-old collection of Viking silver, discovered by a metal detectorist in Silverdale in 2011, can be viewed at Lancaster City Museum from October 25, but will then be transferred to the Museum of Lancashire in Preston, which will be its permanent home.

Alan Sandham, the chair of the Friends of Lancaster City Musuem, said: “We are glad that Lancaster will get the first chance to see the Silverdale Hoard, but we are disappointed that the city council decided against purchase, which would have led to the hoard being displayed in Lancaster permanently instead of Preston.”

The collection is made up of more than 200 items believed to date from around 900 AD. The pieces include jewellery together with coins from several Viking kingdoms of Britain, from Europe and even Arabia. Also included are 141 fragments of arm-rings and ingots which had been chopped into smaller pieces. These are known as hacksilver, which the Vikings used as money.

The hoard had been buried in a lead pouch under a field in Silverdale.

The following December it was declared Treasure in line with the Treasure Act 1996. It was later valued at nearly £110,000. Following the valuation, the hoard was acquired by Lancashire County Council’s museums service thanks to a grant of £45,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, along with £33,000 from the Art Fund and £18,000 from the Victoria and Albert Purchase Grant Fund.

The exhibition, called The Silverdale Hoard – The Story So Far, runs until December 21.

Coun Ron Sands, the city council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “The Silverdale Hoard is a unique reminder of our rich heritage. It gives us a fascinating glimpse into the history of the district. I would urge everyone to take up this fabulous opportunity to visit this wonderful local find while it is available to view right here on our doorstep.”