Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Things to See: The Staffordshire Hoard On Tour

Scabbard Boss
In May last year, I blogged about an amazing stash of Anglo-Saxon gold; discovered by one man and his metal detector in a field near Lichfield, Staffordshire. The treasure quickly became known as The Staffordshire Hoard, capturing the imagination of academics, archaeologists and the public alike, and setting off a chain of events which find the hoard where it is today.

So, where is it now - two years since its unearthing? Parts of the hoard are currently on tour, while other artefacts are undergoing painstaking conservation. Funding has been secured to keep it in the area of its discovery; the ancient kingdom of Mercia (largely the West Midlands and Staffordshire in its modern form), and fundraising is underway to create a permanent home for the entire, 1,500 piece-strong collection at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Sword Hilts
If you would like to see the hoard's glittering objects for yourself, then head to Lichfield Cathedral where artefacts will be on display from now until the 21st August. Following the exhibition at Lichfield, the Staffordshire tour continues onwards to Tamworth Castle from the 27th August to the 18th September. Both Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle are historically important and beautiful venues in their own right, and the addition of pieces from the hoard will only serve to make things even more interesting!

After September, the hoard will journey over the Atlantic for an exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. Called Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold From England's Dark Ages, the exhibition will run from the 29th October until the 4th March 2012.

For more information on the Staffordshire Hoard, visit the website, here.

For further details on the Staffordshire tour, click here, and for information on the National Geographic Museum in Washington, click here.

Images courtesy of Portable Antiquities on Flickr.


  1. I don't remember that particular post but what a find. Funny thing is that I just read an article about people that buy metal detectors with the hope that they find treasure on a beach somewhere. The conclusion was that it was a waste of time. Obviously the writer didn't know about this find!

  2. Wow - the writer musn't have known about this! I bet the treasure hunter who found this hoard couldn't believe his luck. I know that this metal detector method is at best sniffed at, and at worst frowned upon in archaeological circles - being seen as mercenary and also with the added risk of destroying archaeological context when the treasure hunters dig up any potentially significant finds. I think in the case of this hoard though, the sheer amount of finds were so great that although the original finder certainly uncovered some, the vast majority of evidence was excavated by archaeologists.