By Rachel Ryan
A HOARD of Viking coins found in Furness earlier this year look set to stay in the area.
The 92 coins and artifacts – which date back more than 1,000 years – have been declared treasure and Barrow’s Dock Museum has been given first chance to buy them.
The treasure was found in July by a novice metal detectorist, and last week Furness Coroner Ian Smith said the collection, estimated to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, should stay in the district.
The hoard was found scattered just one-foot beneath the surface of farmland near Dalton-in-Furness and museum curator Sabine Skae said it was ‘very important’ to keep the find in the area.
“The hoard has put us on the national map for a Viking presence in Furness.
"We suspected there were Vikings in South Lakeland but this find confirms it, which means that this part of the world was in Viking control and not English control which we never knew.
“It is very significant and we hope that historians and archaeologists want to investigate the Viking presence in the area.”
Ms Skae said that the Dock Museum would have to find the cash to buy the coins through grants and a forthcoming public appeal to raise the money.
She said that the Dock Museum only had the coins for two days before they went to the National Museum in London and ‘it can’t wait’ to get them back.
“It is a very exciting find and there is much interest in that part of history,” she said.
“We are very keen to get the treasure on display here as it means so much to us because the find is a first and we have never had anything like it before.
"It is important for the history of the area.”
The rarest coin found in the hoard was one produced by Eirik Bloodaxe circa 950AD.
Courtesy The Westmorland Gazette