Herefordshire Hoard returns home

Magnificent treasures will go on display at Hereford Museum thanks to £426,250 funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. 

A stunning hoard

The Herefordshire Hoard is a dazzling collection of treasures comprising:

•    a gold arm bangle with beast head clasp
•    a pendant made from a sphere of rock crystal mounted in gold
•    a gold octagonal ring with black inlay
•    twenty nine rare coins mostly of Alfred the Great of Wessex and Ceolwulf II of Mercia

Three treasures
Left to right: bangle, pendant and ring. 

These beautifully crafted items are thought to have been buried around 878, perhaps as part of a high-status Viking hoard. The coins from Mercia and Wessex share similar designs, suggesting that a previously unknown alliance may have been formed between the two kingdoms to strengthen their battle against the Vikings. 

An illegal discovery 

In November 2019, four men were found guilty of concealing, stealing and selling the hoard’s treasures, which they had recovered illicitly from a field in Eye, near Leominster four years earlier. 

Photos recovered by police suggest that, when complete, the hoard contained around 300 coins, most of which are believed to have been illegally dispersed.  

Two sides of a coin
Penny of Alfreed of Wessex

On display for all to enjoy

Thanks to NHMF funding, the remainder of the hoard will form a centrepiece in the redeveloped Hereford Museum, driving tourism to the county. They will be made available through public events and school programmes, helping local people better understand and appreciate Herefordshire’s history. 

Funders

Total funding was £776,350. Funds were also received from the Art Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust and a widely-supported public fundraising campaign.  

Region
West Midlands
Grant awarded
£426,250
Year awarded