Viking and Anglo-Saxon rarities to stay in Yorkshire as museum buys Bedale Hoard

By Ben Miller | 21 May 2014

A gold-festooned hoard of rare Viking and Anglo-Saxon artefacts includes Russian and Irish designs in a showcase of 9th century intricacy

A photo of a woman holding up a small length of jewellery from a Viking hoard
More than £50,000 has been raised to keep the Bedale Hoard in Yorkshire© Kippa Matthews
Found by a metal detectorist on a little-known swathe of Viking Yorkshire in May 2012, the Bedale Hoard – including an inlaid gold sword pommel and a never-seen-before silver neck ring and neck collar – will go on public display at the Yorkshire Museum after being bought for £52,000 following a successful fundraising campaign.

An Anglo-Saxon sword is believed to be the original source of the large gold pommel, cast in iron, inlaid with plaques of gold foil and bearing Trewhiddle-style animal decorations, named after a hoard found in a town in Cornwall and exemplifying a style used in 9th century England.

Its use on gold is rare. Four oval ring mounts, made from gold and animalistically adorned again, feature six tiny, dome-headed gold rivets.

Of three further twisted neck rings, one is cut in two as “hack silver”, making them unique symbols of an unusual west Viking design.

Silver ingots dominate the hoard. There are 29 here, as well as a hack-silver Permian ring, of Russian descent, and a broad, flat arm-ring of Hiberno-Scandinavian style, made by Vikings in Ireland and decorated with a pattern of stamp-impressed grooves.

Natalie McCaul, the curator of archaeology at the museum, thanked the public for keeping the “spectacular” hoard in the county, calling it “incredible” and “intriguing” ahead of further investigations by experts.

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A photo of a woman looking at a Viking hoard of jewellery
© Kippa Matthews
A photo of a white glove holding a small piece of Viking jewellery in front of a hoard
© Kippa Matthews
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