The Watlington Hoard

At JORVIK Viking Centre | 7th February to 21st May 2018

Finds from one of the most important Viking- hoards to be discovered in England, the Watlington Hoard, will be going on display at the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre this February during the annual JORVIK Viking Festival . The loan from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford will highlight a tumultuous period in our history, the invasion by the Great Viking Army.

Discover the Watlington Hoard at JORVIK Viking Centre

Background

The Hoard, which was probably hidden by a member  of the Great Viking Army as it moved through Oxfordshire in AD 879 was rediscovered in October 2015 by metal-detectorist James Mather near the village of Watlington in South Oxfordshire. He reported it to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and with the assistance of the Scheme’s’ national advisor for Medieval Coinage, based at the Ashmolean Museum, was able to deposit this potential treasure with them for identification and conservation. The Ashmolean raised £1.35 million to acquire the Treasure.

The loan to JORVIK Viking Centre is the latest in JORVIK’s partnership programme with major Museums,  including the British Museum and the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.

Contents

The hoard contains a mixture of Anglo-Saxon coins and Viking silver, including:

  • Over two hundred complete Anglo-Saxon silver coins and a small number of cut fragments
  • Two coins  from the Kingdom of the Franks (modern day Franceand  western Germany)
  • Seven items of jewellery, including complete arm rings
  • A number of deliberately cut fragments of jewellery , known as ‘hack silver’
  • Fifteen silver ingots

The Watlington Hoard is significant as it contains many examples of previously rare coins of Alfred the Great, king of Wessex (871–99) and his less well-known contemporary Ceolwulf II of Mercia (874–c.879). These coins provide a clearer understanding of the relationship between the two Anglo-Saxon monarchs and how the invasion of the Great Viking Army helped lead to the unification of a single English kingdom.

Discover the Watlington Hoard for yourself as part of your immersive experience at the re-imagined JORVIK Viking Centre.

 

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The Watlington Hoard is kindly on loan from The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Acquisition supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund and The Patrons and Friends of the Ashmolean Museum.

Ashmolean Museum

Heritage Lottery Fund