Shropshire Star

Plans to put Viking treasure on display after successful fundraising campaign

A Viking treasure that was buried in a field near Leominster more than 1,100 years ago will be looked after locally following a successful fundraising campaign.

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Octagonal gold ring from the ninth century

A four-month fundraising effort to raise money to keep the treasure, valued at £776,250, in the area reached its fundraising target recently and open days are being planned to give the public plenty of opportunities to see the hoard in its temporary home in Hereford’s Museum Resource and Learning Centre before it’s re-housed in Herefordshire’s prestigious new museum.

As well as a public fundraising effort behind the scenes, applications were being made to national funding bodies. The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) provided the lion’s share of the money needed. The large grant NHMF awarded was backed up by other significant grants from the Art Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation and the Headley Trust.

Simon Thurley, chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund said: “We are delighted to support the acquisition of the Hereford Hoard, which will not only be an exciting addition to Herefordshire museums but also to the story of the county and its history.

"The public support the campaign has received demonstrates just how important heritage treasures are to so many and it’s fitting that the hoard will ‘come home’ to the place where it was buried 1,100 years ago.”

Councillor Gemma Davies, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and assets, said: “I feel genuinely emotional about this.

"First, I want to say a massive thanks to the organisations that looked so favourably on our applications and awarded us funding to secure the hoard for the people of Herefordshire.

"Without the unbelievably generous support of the NHMF, the Art Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation and the Headley Trust, it’s highly unlikely we would be here celebrating the conclusion of our fundraising campaign."

Judy Stevenson, Hereford Museum team leader, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled about this. Everyone at the museum service is over the moon knowing the hoard is coming home, where it can be cherished by the people who deserve it most – the people of Herefordshire. Thanks to everyone involved.”