Galloway Hoard is saved for the nation after nearly £2 million raised in six months

A Carolingian vessel found with the Galloway Hoard.
A Carolingian vessel found with the Galloway Hoard.

National Museums Scotland has today announced that it has achieved its fundraising target of £1.98 million in order to acquire the Galloway Hoard on behalf of the nation.

A generous funding contribution of £1 million from The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), £150,000 from the Scottish Government and widespread public support have helped secure the future of the unique Hoard of Viking-age treasures.

Following the allocation of the Galloway Hoard in May 2017 to National Museums Scotland by the Queen’s Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, National Museums had just six months in which to raise the necessary funds. Since then a wide-ranging campaign has been underway to raise funds from trusts and private sources.

The acquisition has been made possible by the generosity of funding from the NHMF, Art Fund, members of the public, the Scottish Government and trusts.

People have been incredibly generous in their response to the campaign with over 1500 donations from the public appeal enabling us to reach our target of £200,000.

The Galloway Hoard brings together the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. It is of international significance and will transform our understanding of this period of Scottish history.

Uncovered by a metal detectorist in Dumfries and Galloway, the Galloway Hoard comprises in excess of 100 gold, silver and other items from the Viking Age. It was buried at the beginning of the tenth century, although some of the items within the Hoard date from an earlier period.

The bulk of the find is a rich Viking-age hoard of silver jewellery and ingots. However, it also contains an outstanding range of exceptional precious metal and jewelled items including a rare gold ingot, a gold bird-shaped pin and a decorated silver-gilt cup of Continental or Byzantine origin. The Galloway Hoard is unique in bringing together a remarkable variety of objects in one discovery, hinting at hitherto unknown connections between people across Europe and beyond.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said: “I am hugely grateful to the National Heritage Memorial Fund for its generous Grant of £1 million. This contribution has provided the final step to reaching our target and enabled us to save the Hoard for the nation.

“In the last six months we have been overwhelmed by the response from the general public who have got behind our campaign to ‘Save the Hoard’. I am also grateful for the generosity of Art Fund, the Scottish Government, charitable trusts and individual donors. Now we look forward to starting the work on conserving and researching the Hoard to unlock its secrets.”

John Glen, UK Government Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “The Galloway Hoard is an incredible collection that has given us a deeper understanding of the history of the Viking Age in Scotland. As an unparalleled find of global significance, I am thrilled that the National Heritage Memorial Fund has helped save it for the nation.”

Seona Reid, NHMF trustee, said: “This is wonderful news. The Galloway Hoard is an exquisite collection of rare treasure with global significance.”

Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund said: “Art Fund is honoured to have played a part in this incredible campaign, whose success means that this unique hoard of Viking-age treasure will be safely entrusted to National Museums Scotland.”

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said: “The Galloway Hoard is one of the most important collections ever discovered in Scotland. It is important that the hoard is made available for the people of Scotland and our visitors from around the world to see.”

A selection of objects from the Hoard is currently on display at the National Museum of Scotland until 29 October. Visitors have a small window of opportunity in which to see it before it is taken away for vital conservation. It is anticipated that the necessary conservation and research work will take around two years before the Hoard will once again be seen at the museum.