British Collection Highlights:

Cuerdale Hoard

The Cuerdale Hoard was found in 1840 by workmen digging on the embankment of the River Ribble near Cuerdale Hall, Preston, Lancashire. The hoard was buried in a lead chest, and is dated to the Viking period.

It is the largest hoard of its kind ever found in England. Among its 40 kilos of valuables were 7,500 coins and 1,000 ingots, ornaments and cut fragments of silver. The treasure contained Anglo-Saxon and Viking coins, as well as coins from the Middle East, Italy and the Frankish kingdom. There was also bullion from Ireland. Coins dating to AD901-905 give a terminal date for the hoard (the probable date of burial of the treasure).

The hoard was dispersed to more than 170 recipients soon after its discovery, some survive in the British Museum and the National Museums, Liverpool. The objects in the photograph on the right were acquired by Sir John Evans and presented to the Ashmolean by his son Sir Arthur Evans in 1909.

Objects from the hoard are on display in the ‘England 400-1600’ gallery on the second floor.

Click to enlarge

Objects from Cuerdale Hoard (Click to enlarge)

Objects from Cuerdale hoard (AN1909.519-551)

Further Information

Graham-Campbell, J., The Cuerdale Hoard and Related Viking-age Silver and Gold from Britain and Ireland in the British Museum (London: British Museum Press, 2011).

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Christine Edbury
January 2012