CHORLEY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
North West England Viking Finds
by John & Christine Harrison.
Inspired by Ben
Edwards’ recent talk to the Society, Christine and I were
recently in London and already had planned to look at the Sutton
Hoo exhibition at the British Museum. As this was across the
room from the Viking exhibits it was too good an opportunity to
Amongst the exhibits that we saw was the Penrith Hoard. This
dates from the early 10th century and contained, as can be seen
in the following photograph, Irish Viking brooches similar to
the copies that Ben Edwards and his wife demonstrated at our
One of the
brooches is inscribed with the Viking runic alphabet, perhaps to
bring good luck to the wearer.
Next to this display was the Cuerdale Hoard dating from around
905AD. It’s not all on display and this is hardly surprising
given that it consists of 7500 coins and 1100 items of silver
bullion! However the display which Christine has captured in the
following photograph might have been better ordered! This hoard
was found near the south bank of the Ribble in 1840, having been
buried in a lead chest. It is the largest Viking hoard found in
Bone pins have
been used to fasten cloth bags. The date of the hoard is
provided by the coins, most of which came from the Viking
Danelaw. However there are other English, European and even
Arabic coins. The bullion is equally diverse with many
Scandanavian pieces as would be expected, but also fragments of
brooches and arm rings of Irish-Viking origin, along with
Anglo-Saxon, Pictish, and Carolingian personal equipment as well
as Slavic and Baltic material.
Another Lancashire find on display was a Gilt-Silver Cup and
Neck Ring. This was found on Halton Moor and the 860 silver
pennies found with them dates the hoard to about 1027. The neck
ring is Scandanavian, but the cup is Carolingian in origin and
decorated with animals and foliage.
It was fascinating to see these
exhibits so soon after Ben Edwards’ talk.
(The Sutton Hoo display was great as well!!)
Christine and John Harrison