The Galloway Hoard returns to Dumfries and Galloway

Exhibits from The Galloway Hoard Credit: Kirkcudbright Galleries

One of the most important UK archaeological finds of the century is set to return to Dumfries and Galloway, where is was uncovered.

The Galloway Hoard will soon go on display from October at Kirkcudbright Galleries, near where it was found on church land near Balmaghie, in 2014.

It is the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland and was buried around AD900.

The National Museums Scotland touring exhibition, Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure, offers the first chance to see details hidden for over a thousand years, revealed by expert conservation and cutting-edge research.

Exhibits from The Galloway Hoard Credit: Kirkcudbright Galleries

The exhibition shows how the Hoard was buried in four distinct parcels:

  • The top layer was a parcel of silver bullion and a rare Anglo-Saxon cross, separated from a lower layer of three parts:

  • Firstly another parcel of silver bullion wrapped in leather and twice as big as the one above

  • Secondly a cluster of four elaborately decorated silver 'ribbon' arm-rings bound together and concealing in their midst a small wooden box containing three items of gold

  • Thirdly a lidded, silver gilt vessel wrapped in layers of textile and packed full of carefully wrapped objects that appear to be have been curated like relics or heirlooms. They include beads, pendants, brooches, bracelets,and other curios, often strung or wrapped with silk.

Exhibits from The Galloway Hoard Credit: Kirkcudbright Galleries

Conservationists say work on the metal objects has revealed decorations, inscriptions and other details that were not previously visible and research into many aspects of the Hoard will take many years. Some items are too fragile to be displayed, particularly those with rare textile survivals.

The exhibition opens tomorrow and will run until July next year.

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