Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 14:21 UK

Viking hoard saved for the nation

Silver Gilt vessel dating from the 9th Century part of the Vale of York Viking hoard.
Objects in the hoard have come from all over the world.

The largest Viking hoard found in Britain since the 19th century has been bought by two British museums.

The find, valued at £1,082,000, was discovered in a field in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, by a father and son metal-detector team in January 2007.

After two years of fundraising, the collection has been purchased by the York Museums Trust and the British Museum in London.

It is expected to go on display at the Yorkshire Museum in York next month.

The hoard includes a silver gilt vessel, 617 coins and various silver fragments, ingots and rings.

Initial conservation work suggests the treasures were hidden by a wealthy Viking after the Kingdom of Northumbria fell to the Anglo-Saxon King Athelstan in AD 927.

'Global significance'

The men who made the discovery have welcomed the news that the collection will be displayed in Yorkshire.

David and Andrew Wheelan, from Leeds, said: "We always dreamt of finding a hoard but to find one from such a fantastic period of history is just unbelievable.

"The contents of the hoard we found went far beyond our wildest dreams and hopefully people will love seeing the objects on display in York and London for many years to come."

The pair will share the £1,082,000 with the owners of the field, who wish to remain anonymous.

Jonathan Williams, the British Museum's keeper of prehistory and Europe, said it was a find of "global significance".

Historians believe the hoard will greatly increase their understanding of the wealth, culture and trading routes of the Vikings who lived in Yorkshire and the North-East during the early 900s.

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