A hearing held in Lancashire has declared that a hoard of Viking silver discovered in September is indeed treasure. Found near the village of Silverdale in north Lancashire by 39 year old metal detector enthusiast Darren Webster, the hoard contains 201 Viking coins and pieces of jewellery.
The find dates from the early medieval period when the Vikings ruled much of the north of England. Dot Boughton, the Finds Liaison Officer for Lancashire, said the hoard was “very significant and extremely rare in this area”.
So rare in fact that the British Museum has examined the silver coins and found that some bare the name “AIRDECONUT”, or Harthacnut in Scandinavian, a Viking ruler of northern England that hitherto has been unknown to history.
Significantly, the designation as a treasure hoard allows a local museum to bid for the find when it goes up for auction, after a valuation in the New Year. Such is the popularity of precious metal in people’s consciousness, especially when it is combined with such a history as with the ‘Silverdale Hoard’, the local council is already planning to purchase it for the Lancaster City Museum so that generations to come may enjoy it.