The Silverdale Hoard: One of biggest Viking hoards ever found in the UK to go on display in Yorkshire

One of the biggest Viking hoards ever discovered in the UK is to go on display in York.

The Silverdale Hoard, which was found in the village of the same name in 2011, comprises 200 coins and pieces of jewellery. Key pieces include arm rings, hacksilver, ingots and coins, plus the lead container in which they were buried.

Now Lancashire County Museum Service is to loan the items to the Jorvik centre in York.

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Christine McDonnell, head of collections and archives at the Jorvik Viking Centre, said: “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.

An item from the Silverdale Hoard (Pic: Lancashire County Museum Service)An item from the Silverdale Hoard (Pic: Lancashire County Museum Service)
An item from the Silverdale Hoard (Pic: Lancashire County Museum Service)

“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.”

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Ms McDonnell said: “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 it – 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.

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“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.”

A special free virtual presentation marking the arrival of the Silverdale Hoard will take place in February. Dr Gareth Williams of the British Museum will discuss the hoard’s significance.