Treasure hoard to go on display

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Treasure belonging to to one of the largest Anglo Saxon hoards ever found in Britain will go on display for the first time ever today.

Some 300 of over 5,200 silver coins that were discovered in the village of Lenborough, Buckinghamshire, will be shown to the public at the British Museum in Bloomsbury, central London.

The museum’s experts will explain what they have found out about the hoard to coincide with the launch of its annual treasure report.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and British Museum director Neil MacGregor are due to speak before the coins go on display to the public at 10am.

Discovered in a lead bucket buried two feet under ground by metal detector enthusiast Paul Coleman on December 21 , the hoard consists of 5,252 coins which date from the 11th century AD.

It is the biggest Anglo Saxon coin hoard found since the Treasure Act began in 1996 and includes coins from the reigns of Anglo-Saxon kings Ethelred the Unready (reigned 978-1013 and 1014-1016) and Canute the Great (1016-1035).

Mr Coleman, from Southampton, who is expected to be at the unveiling today, found it while taking part in a Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club dig in Padbury, near Aylesbury.

There has been speculation that the treasure may have been linked to the old Buckingham mint, which would have been within a day’s walking distance from where they were found.

The total value of the coins, which are in good condition, has been estimated at possibly as much as £1.3 million.

All of them were found whole except for one which is a portion of a coin which was cut in half.

The largest Anglo Saxon treasure hoard found so far consisted of over 3,500 items from around the 7th or 8th centuries AD discovered near Lichfield in Staffordshire in July 2009.

It includes sword pommels, helmet parts and processional crosses valued at over £3 million.

Other objects which will go on display today at the British Museum include a Bronze Age bracelet hoard from Wollaston, Gloucestershire, featuring eight gold bracelets probably belonging to a child dating to around 1400 to 1100 BC.

Another highlight is a Viking hoard from the west coast of Cumbria which features a t otal of 19 silver objects including ingots and fragments of arm rings, dating from 9th to the 10th centuries AD.

The museum will also present a Bronze Age gold lunula – a crescent moon-shaped neck pendant – from Tarrant Valley, Dorset, which has been dated to between 2100 and 1400 BC, and a gold reliquary from Skellow, South Yorkshire, from the 17th or early 18th century AD.

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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