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Colleagues in Cumbria UK have passed some interesting information on, which has not yet been published in the mainstream news….namely that a Viking Hoard found at Beckermet was actually found on the site earmarked by the UK government for the “biggest nuclear development in Europe”. It has been determined a National Treasure. “Hoards” have filled in the blanks for certain murky periods of history, and even re-written history.
“The hoard appears to be unusual in terms of Viking Hoards from the British Isles.” (Noon, S., 2014)
Image Creative Commons Attribution – Copyright: The Portable Antiquities Scheme, 3 Feb. 2015. The period is early medieval Circa AD 850 Date to Circa AD 950, found in August 2014
Comparison has been made to the Spillings Hoard, the Silverdale Hoard, Vale of York Hoard and the Cuerdale Hoard, which suggests need for much more investigation, rather than just dumping three Japanese AP1000 Nuclear Reactors resembling milk churns on top of the site! This is especially true within the context of the broader cultural and historical landscape of this area. This includes cross-shafts with runic inscriptions in old St. Bridget’s churchyard, the Gosforth Cross – tallest and oldest viking cross in England, the Ting Mound, Seascale, known to be a Norse settlement, and more. Furthermore, the track record of AP1000 construction projects is such that it is unlikely that they ever enter operation, only destroy and blight this historic area.
Excavation of the Spillings Hoard found in Gotland, Sweden:
A representation of the Viking house where the three caches of the Spillings hoard were found, by W.Carter and Gotogo
“Location of depositories in the stone foundation at Spillings
Additional excavations were conducted in the summer of 2000 and in 2003-06. Remnants of wood, iron rivets and mounts as well as a lock mechanism were found, leading to the conclusion that the caches had been stored in chests.
An extended survey and excavation revealed the foundations of a building and indicated that the hoards had been placed under the floorboards of what would probably have been a warehouse, shed or storage rather than a dwelling since it had no hearth. Carbon dating showed that the building had been in use between 540 and 1040. The foundations and the remaining postholes indicated a regular Viking Age structure, about 10 by 15 m (33 by 49 ft) with a slanting sedge-covered roof, much like other similar finds on Gotland. It had been built on an older Iron Age foundation.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spillings_Hoard
“The Silverdale Hoard is a collection of over 200 pieces of silver jewellery and coins discovered near Silverdale, Lancashire, England, in September 2011. The items were deposited together in and under a lead container buried about 16 inches (41 cm) underground which was found in a field by a metal detectorist. It is believed to date to around AD 900, a time of intense conflict between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish settlers of northern England. The hoard is one of the largest Viking hoards ever discovered in the UK.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverdale_Hoard
These and other “hoard” finds have contributed to furthering the knowledge of history, and occasionally have led to the re-writing of history.
Description of Cumbria find:
Unique ID: LANCUM-FA14C8
Object type certainty: Certain Workflow status: Published
Ref: 2014 T518
A hoard of silver Viking objects was found while searching on farmland with metal-detectors. It consists of a 20 silver objects comprising 16 ingots, 2 fragments of arm rings, one Permian striated ring fragment and one hook-ended terminal of a neck ring.
They were all found in one spot 50cm deep under top soil at the interface with the sub-soil under a stone in a hollow or small pit under a stone.
The objects are described in their uncleaned condition, in accordance with the terms of the Treasure Act 1996. After conservation, some of the weights may be slightly lighter, although there is unlikely to be any significant difference.
The hoard appears to be unusual in terms of Viking Hoards from the British Isles and is possibly more Northern European in it’s make up. The objects are numbered from left to right descending.
Contents of the hoard
1. Large sub-rectangular ingot with casting flaw on the underside in the pattern of a leaf or feather. Length 85mm, width 21mm, thickness 7mm and weight 127.68g.
2. Ingot: Bar shaped and of rounded trapezoidal section with rounded ends. No testing nicks visible. Similar to Lanms.2103.32.42 of the Silverdale Hoard. Length 81mm, width 10mm, thickness 8mm and weight 56.24g.
3. Ingot: Bar shaped and of ovoid section with cut across one end the other end is rounded. Ten testing nicks visible. Length 62mm, width 12mm, thickness 11mm and weight 76.04g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.110 of the Silverdale Hoard.
4. Ingot: Bar shaped sub-rounded section with cut across one end the other end is rounded. Length 56mm, width 12mm, thickness 11mm and weight 51.31g.
5. Ingot? Bar shaped sub-rounded flattened and wider at one end. Decorated on one face with small sub-rounded indentations. Although the design appears to be impressed rather than purposefully indented. It could be an artefact but it is difficult to see what it would have been used for. Length 55mm, width 15mm, thickness 9mm and weight 42.11g. One testing nick visible.
6. Ingot: Bar shaped with sub-rounded section. 12 testing nicks visible. Length 66mm, width 8mm, thickness 4mm and weight 24.21g .
7. Ingot: sub-rectangular. 2 testing nicks visible. Length 61mm, width 7mm, thickness 4mm and weight 25.82g.
8. Ingot: bar-shaped ovoid section with sub-rounded flattened ends. 2 testing nicks visible. Length 47mm, width 9mm, thickness 5mm and weight 23.77g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.47 from the Silverdale Hoard.
9. Decorated silver arm ring with punched detail using a stamp and hammer possibly from Gotland with parallels from the Spillings Hoard. Length 55mm, width 36mm, thickness 10mm and weight 72.79g
10. Hook-ended terminal of a neck ring of rounded section; plain. Length 48mm, width 20mm, thickness 6mm and weight 38.84g
11. Ingot: Fragment of bar-shaped ingot of rounded sub-trapezoidal section cut on one end. Length 40mm, width 22mm, thickness 10mm and weight 76.14g. Three testing nicks. Looks like a preliminary blade strike on underside then two blade strikes to separate the ingot
12. Ingot: Kidney bean shaped, flattened with sub-rounded sides. Appears to be a blade strike in the centre rather than a testing nick, series of lines on the other side that could be testing nicks or scratches. Length 38mm, width 21mm, thickness 6mm and weight 50.95g.
13. Ingot: bar-shaped trapezoidal section with sub-rounded flattened end and cut on the other end. 2 testing nicks visible. Length 41mm, width 10mm, thickness 6mm and weight 24.312g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.64 from the Silverdale Hoard.
14. Ingot: bar-shaped trapezoidal section with sub-rounded flattened end and cut on the other end. 1 testing nick visible. Length 36mm, width 12mm, thickness 5mm and weight 19.77g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.64 from the Silverdale Hoard.
15. Russian Permian spiral striated ring of the 9th/early 10th century, complete examples of which have polyhedral terminals and are found both in the British Isles and Scandinavia, although they are probably of northern Russian origin, e.g. from the Vale of York Hoard and the Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire (J. Graham-Campbell, 2006, ‘The rings’, pp. 73-81 in S.H. Fuglesang and D.M. Wilson, eds., The Hoen Hoard: a Viking gold treasure of the ninth century, Rome, at pp. 74-6; G. Williams and B. Ager, The Vale of York Hoard, British Museum Press, 2010, fig. 19; J. Graham-Campbell, 2011, The Cuerdale Hoard and related Viking-Age silver and gold from Britain and Ireland in the British Museum, London, British Museum Press, 88-9). They were originally made as neck-rings to a weight standard of about 100 grammes, probably from using a set number of Islamic coins in their manufacture. But they were coiled into arm-rings by the Vikings, who probably obtained them by trade. Length 58mm, width 20mm, thickness 6mm and weight 22.20g.
16. Ingot: Fragment of curved bar of thick rectangular section, cut across both ends; possibly from a “currency ring”. 2 testing nick visible. Length 31mm, width 14mm, thickness 5mm and weight 22.67g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.169 from the Silverdale Hoard.
17. Ingot: rounded sub-rectangular section cut at one end. No testing nicks visible. Length 25mm, width 15mm, thickness 7mm and weight 42.09g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.158 from the Silverdale Hoard.
18. Fragment of bar-shaped ingot of rounded sub-triangular section. No testing nicks visible. Length 22mm, width 14mm, thickness 11mm and weight 28.92g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.157 from the Silverdale Hoard.
19. Ingot: bar-shaped ovoid section with sub-rounded ends. 2 testing nicks visible and one possible blade strike. Length 30mm, width 10mm, thickness 11mm and weight 26.30g. Similar to LANMS.2013.32.47 from the Silverdale Hoard.
20. Ingot: barshaped ingot of rounded sub-triangular section with cut section at one end. No testing nicks visible. Length 30mm, width 12mm, thickness 10mm and weight 15.83g.
Current location of find: The Beacon Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure
Treasure case tracking number: 2014T518
Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL Period from: EARLY MEDIEVAL Period to: EARLY MEDIEVAL Date from: Circa AD 850 Date to: Circa AD 950
Dimensions and weight
Date(s) of discovery: Monday 4th August 2014
Found by: This information is restricted for your login. Recorded by: Mr Stuart Noon Identified by: Mr Stuart Noon Other reference numbers
Treasure case number: 2014T518 Materials and construction
Primary material: Silver Completeness: Incomplete
Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cumbria (County)
District: Copeland (District)
To be known as: WEST COAST CUMBRIA
Grid reference source: From finder Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.
Noon, S (2014) “LANCUM-FA14C8: A EARLY MEDIEVAL HOARD” Web page available at: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/630959 [Accessed: Nov 6, 2016 ]
Emphasis our own.
Old St. Bridget’s Churchyard Runes and Interlace
Old St. Bridget’s Churchyard Runic cross-shafts with Sellafield Chimney, photo by Marianne Birkby.
Old St. Bridget’s Norman Church ca 1100 and Sellafield
About the Ting Mound:
“The Ting Mound or Thing Moot at Fellfoot Farm, Little Langdale, Cumbria, England is an Ancient Monument (a ‘nationally important’ archaeological site). It is a natural mound which has been deliberately terraced, possibly in the tenth century, although it has not been dated archaeologically.
It is believed that the mound was used as an open-air meeting place for local government, specifically for a Thing (from the Old Norse þing), a type of early assembly found throughout Northern Europe where there was Scandinavian influence. The mound is very similar to the Tynwald Mount on the Isle of Man. This supports the idea that it was established by Viking settlers, who have left a legacy of Norse toponyms in the Langdales, and possibly built some of the dry-stone walls which are a feature of the landscape. It is situated close to a Roman road and other transport routes through the Cumbrian mountains.”
A bit about the Cuerdale Hoard:
“It is believed the coins were buried between 903 and 910 AD, soon after the Vikings had been expelled from Dublin in 902. At this time the Ribble Valley was an important Viking route between the Irish Sea and York. The presence of large numbers of newly minted Norse coins from York and large amounts of Irish Norse bullion leads experts to believe this may have been a war chest belonging to Irish Norse exiles intending to reoccupy Dublin from the Ribble Estuary, but there have also been many other theories about its ownership and purpose.
In 1966 the numismatist M. Banks suggested that the hoard was not even buried by Vikings, although it was Viking treasure, or much of it was. Banks suggested that the Cuerdale Hoard might have been a gift to English churches suffering persecution in the areas called the Danelaw that were occupied by pagan Vikings. Since so many of the coins were apparently minted across the Channel, said Banks, they were probably a contribution from the Frankish Christians to their English brothers.
Many such mysteries surround the Cuerdale trove. Little archaeological investigation has yet been done of the site of Cuerdale Hall. Such an investigation might reveal why the hoard was buried in that location. The orientation of the old hall and roads and fields to the south suggests that a ford or bridge existed near the present site of Cuerdale Hall. Rob Curedale, a descendant of the De Keuerdale family, proposed an alternative theory that the hoard was buried by Sir Thomas de Molyneux who occupied Cuerdale Hall and raised an army of several thousand with help from Irish nobility to support Richard II. The treasure could have been several hundred years old when brought from an unknown location in Ireland at the direction of Richard II and buried at Cuerdale.
Other theories include that the silver was intended for a casting works in the vicinity. Remains of fortifications and moat suggest that a larger building once occupied the present site of Cuerdale Hall.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuerdale_Hoard
Entire credit for Spillings hoard image:
“A representation of the Viking house where the three caches of the Spillings hoard were found.
18 April 2015, 17:50:03
* Concept, collage and drawing: Own work by W.carter
* Photo Lojstahallen by Gotogo
W.carter & Gotogo” via Wikipedia