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Campaign to bring hoard home to Herefordshire


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Herefordshire Council’s museum service has launched a campaign to raise the funds necessary to ‘bring the hoard home to Herefordshire’.

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The Herefordshire Hoard is a very significant treasure that experts believe may have been buried by the Viking Great Army over 1100 years ago. Discovered in a field near Leominster, it includes three items of gold jewellery, a silver ingot and 29 silver coins, including a number of rare ‘two emperor’ coins.

Organisers are applying to heritage and art funders, corporate bodies and other interested parties to help raise funding towards the £776,250 purchase price of the hoard. The aim is to raise most of the necessary funding through those professional bodies.

If successful, the hoard could be given a permanent new home in the redeveloped, council-run Hereford Museum and Art Gallery*. More details on the hoard can be found at herefordshirehoard.org.uk.

Hoard set to attract more visitors to Herefordshire

The hoard has a truly significant heritage and cultural value and acquiring it would enhance the county’s heritage status and the museum’s collections, which are held in trust for the people of Herefordshire. As well as being of interest to the county’s residents, the hoard is expected to attract significant numbers of visitors from across Britain and beyond. This will help stimulate the visitor economy and benefit local businesses. This has been the experience of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, which houses the Staffordshire Hoard.

Councillor Gemma Davies, cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets, says:

“The Herefordshire Hoard is part of the county’s history. The fact that some of the coins from different kingdoms share designs and features actually changes our understanding of the relationship between Wessex and Mercia at the time. The hoard would be an invaluable asset for Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, for the county as a whole and for anyone with the slightest interest in history. I really look forward to seeing it where it belongs, in Herefordshire.”

Jane Adams, chair of Herefordshire Museum Service Support Group (HMSSG), adds:

“It’s really important that this collection is on public display where it was found. For example, bringing the Herefordshire Hoard home will mean that all schoolchildren studying the Anglo-Saxon and Viking period will be able to examine evidence from our local region.”

Vikings to invade Hereford on Sunday 10 April!

HMSSG also hopes to raise £70,000 from the public towards the purchase of the hoard. People will be able to give cash donations during an event held between 10.30-3.30pm on Sunday 10 April at Hereford Rowing Club. This free, fun family day will feature a Viking village as well as a range of activities to suit all ages. The rowing club will be serving hot and cold snacks and drinks as visitors enjoy a flavour of life during Viking times.

Treasure hunters will be able to meet members of a metal detector club, who will offer advice on declaring valuable finds. Visitors will be invited to dress up in traditional Viking clothing and try their hand at everyday Viking crafts and enjoy displays of shield and combat skills. And experts will be on hand to explain the hoard and tell you about the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse invaders during the event.

Judy Stevenson, team leader at Herefordshire Museum Services, says:

“The stretch of River Wye alongside Hereford Rowing Club will provide a beautiful and appropriate backdrop to our Viking-themed family fun day.

“In many ways, we’re very fortunate because Viking culture seems to be more popular than ever, thanks to series like Vikings Valhalla and The Last Kingdom on Netflix. They have helped renew interest in Anglo-Saxon history. Among activities to suit all ages, we also have real experts providing some surprising details of our Viking invaders. Many people know the Vikings caused mayhem in small towns and villages over 1000 years ago. But there is much more to them than that, as our experts will reveal. We also have replicas of the Herefordshire Hoard on display so people will be able to get a sense of how skilful people were over 1000 years ago. The hoard is a really beautiful and surprising treasure.

“The event hopes to raise awareness of what life was like in 9th century England, before it was a united kingdom. We also hope those who can will make a small donation towards our campaign to bring the hoard home to Herefordshire.”

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