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16.01.2021

Bedale Hoard

The Bedale Treasure is a hoard of forty-eight silver and gold objects from the late 9th to early 10th century AD and includes necklaces, arm bands, sword tops, hacksilver and bullion. It was discovered on 22 May 2012 in a field near Bedale, North Yorkshire on metal searches, and is conveyed through a portable Antiquities Scheme. After a successful public funding campaign, the treasure was purchased by the Yorkshire Museum for £50,000.

The treasure contains forty-eight silver and gold objects and was declared a "treasure" under the Treasure Act of 1996. In addition to 29 silver bars, the treasure contained an iron sword tip inlaid with foil plates, four gold hoops or bands from a sword hilt, six small gold rivets, four silver collars and neck rings (one cut into two pieces), one silver hand, one fragment of a Permian ring, and one silver spike brooch.

Large, iron sword tip survived along with a guard , four gold hoops from the hilt and six gold rivets. The tip is broadly triangular in shape and inlaid with gold foil plates decorated with a carved animal weave with incised edges in the late Anglo-Saxon Truchyddle style, which can be dated to the late ninth century. The shape of the tip is typical of the L. Petersen type of the late ninth century. Silver is much more common as decoration on sword tips of this date, and the extensive use of gold foil on the present find is unique.

The largest neck collar from the hoard consists of four twisted silver cables, each a different size, hammer-welded into flat terminals. The outermost cable consists of six thick braided rods, and the inner three "hollow" ropes, each consisting of only three spiral strands of double-twisted rods. Although the individual components of the collar can be compared, this "West Viking" version is unique. The international trade associated with this hoard is best demonstrated by a Permian-style ring fragment imported from Russia in the early Viking period. The hoard also contains two complete six-row neck necklaces, as well as a three-row neck ring cut in half, used as chopping silver.

Twenty-nine bars of silver (with many small alloys) were found in the hoard, many of which are jagged. Three had crosses inscribed on them. They range in weight from 40 to 146 grams (1.4 to 5.1 ounces).

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