The JORVIK Viking Centre in Northern England has recently announced it will soon be hosting a special guest, the Herefordshire Hoard.

The move, which will be completed in February, comes after a series of negotiations between York Archaeology and Herefordshire Council. 

The Herefordshire collection is believed to have been brought to England by a Viking invader and contains several coins of historical importance, a silver ingot, a gold bracelet, a crystal pendant, and a stunning gold ring. 

The hoard will be placed in one of the central display cabinets of the museum. 

The county has regained a substantial part of the hoard, with the British Museum dating it to the Great Heathen Army's time, thanks to a joint effort by police and local stakeholders. Photo: British Museum / Herefordshire Council

Stolen treasure 

As described in The Viking Herald article on the subject, the Herefordshire Hoard has enjoyed a dramatic history since its discovery in June 2015. 

The two metal detectorists who found the collection, George Powell and Layton Davies, decided to sell the treasure on the black market instead of announcing their find to the relevant authorities and the land owner, as the law dictates. 

Today, the pair sit in jail, as do two of the dealers who helped them distribute the treasure.

Happily, thanks to the sterling work of the police in cooperation with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, not to mention a prolonged campaign from the Herefordshire Council and local people and businesses, a significant portion of the hoard has now been returned to the county's ownership. 

The British Museum was able to date the recovered items to the late ninth century, and it is believed the find indicates the presence of the Great Heathen Army

With the Herefordshire Council finalizing a new facility for the hoard, it is destined to become a centerpiece exhibit at the JORVIK Viking Centre. Photo: British Museum / Herefordshire Council

On loan to York 

As the council completes work on a new facility that will house the hoard, it has been looking for other opportunities to present the finds to the public. 

The JORVIK Viking Centre is one of the most popular Viking attractions in the world, with more than 20 million visitors since its foundation in 1984. 

York, situated in northern England, was a significant site of Norse occupation for more than a century, and the JORVIK Viking Centre narrates the history of this period through an interactive ride and a series of exhibitions. 

The Herefordshire Hoard will take pride of place in the center's exhibition section. 

"When we were approached by Herefordshire Council, we were delighted to lend moral support in their quest to secure the hoard for the people of Herefordshire," Jay Commins of York Archaeology informs us.

"We also seized the opportunity to showcase some of the objects to the tens of thousands of visitors we typically receive over the period of the loan." 

At the JORVIK Viking Centre, visitors can explore the rich Viking heritage of York through immersive displays, including realistic animatronics and meticulously recreated Viking-era streets. Photo: Courtesy of JORVIK Viking Centre

History through storytelling 

As Jay points out, the JORVIK Viking Centre is about more than just battle combat and coastal raids. 

Instead, it aims to create an interactive experience of daily life in Viking Age York and to narrate the story of trade and industry. With this in mind, it is fair to say that the Herefordshire loan fits the museum's ethos perfectly.

"This loan showcases the Vikings not only as town planners and traders but also as warriors and collectors," Jay tells us. "It also sheds more light on the power struggles of this time, with allegiances forged between rival kings to repel the Great Viking Army as it swept through the Midlands."

The Herefordshire Hoard will be available for visitors to view at the JORVIK Viking Centre. You can find more information about the hoard here, and about the center here

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