Galloway Hoard returns home

One of the most important UK archaeological finds of the century, The Galloway Hoard, is now on display at Kirkcudbright Galleries.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 9:53 am
Dr Adrian Maldonado, Galloway Hoard Researcher at National Museums of Scotland, with a 3D reconstruction of a silver vessel from the Hoard now on display at Kirkcudbright Galleries.

Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure offers the first chance to see details hidden for over 1000 years, revealed by expert conservation.

The richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland, the hoard was buried around AD900 and features a stunning variety of objects and materials.

Dr Chris Breward, director of National Museums Scotland, said: “The Galloway Hoard rightly drew international attention, both on its discovery and its acquisition by National Museums Scotland following a successful major fundraising campaign.

It is one of the most important UK archaeological finds of the century.

"We are excited to finally be able to bring the Galloway Hoard to Kirkcudbright. The exhibition is a fabulous opportunity to see the Hoard far more clearly than before and to gain an insight into the amazingly detailed work that we have done and are continuing to do in order that we can understand it more fully.”

The exhibition shows how the Hoard was buried in four distinct parcels.

The top layer was a parcel of silver bullion and a rare Anglo-Saxon cross, separated from a lower layer of three parts: firstly another parcel of silver bullion wrapped in leather and twice as big as the one above; secondly a cluster of four elaborately decorated silver ‘ribbon’ arm-rings bound together and concealing in their midst a small wooden box containing three items of gold; and thirdly a lidded, silver gilt vessel wrapped in layers of textile and packed full of carefully wrapped objects that appear to be have been curated like relics or heirlooms.

They include beads, pendants, brooches, bracelets, and other curios, often strung or wrapped with silk.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway communities committee said: “We’re excited and honoured to host this unique exhibition.

"I was lucky enough to see the hoard shortly after discovery and seeing it so many years later I’d like to put on record my admiration and gratitude to National Museums Scotland for all its hard work in conserving and displaying this wonderful collection.”

Decoding the secrets of the Galloway Hoard was a multi-layered process. Conservation of the metal objects revealed decorations, inscriptions and other details that were not previously visible.

Research into the Hoard continues and will take many years. Some items are too fragile to be displayed but the exhibition will use AV and 3D reconstructions to enable visitors to understand them and the work that is being done.

This will include a 3D model showing details of the unique lidded vessel which contained the Galloway Hoard’s most precious treasures.

The exhibition opened at Kirkcudbright Galleries on October 9 and will remain on display until July 10 next year. Don’t miss it!