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Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Treasures at Penrith and Eden Museum

Anglo Saxon coin hoard from Wharton, near Kirkby Stephen

Several items of Treasure have just gone on show at Penrith and Eden Museum following their recent acquisition through the Portable Antiquities Scheme. All were found by metal detectorists. They were valued by the Treasure Valuation Court at the British Museum with the reward shared between the finders and landowners.

Medieval silver finger ring from Kirkby Thore

One is a medieval silver finger ring from Kirkby Thore dating from around AD1150-1250. Its shoulders are formed as two beasts’ heads with protruding eyes and has an incised cross design within rectangles. It was  bought for £200.

There is also a medieval gold stirrup-shaped finger ring dating from around the 13th century AD which was found at Waitby near Kirkby Stephen. It has a small green gem set in its triangular shaped top and is of a  type of popular for three centuries, from AD 1150. The Friends of Penrith and Eden acquired this for the museum for £600.

Medieval silver tear-drop brooch from Waitby

A third example of jewellery, again from Waitby  is a medieval  silver ‘teardrop’ brooch made between  AD 1200 and 1400 which has a pair of cylinder settings originally holding gems. This was purchased for the valuation price of £100.  A hoard of 37  Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon coins from Wharton near Kirkby Stephen has also been put on display. They are known as ‘stycas’ and were minted during the reigns of four kings of pre-Viking Northumbria – Eanred who reigned  c.810-840, Æthelred the Second who reigned between c.840-c.848 – except for the year c.844 when Redwulf was king – and  Osberht who reigned from c.848-867. Osberht was killed during attempts to recapture York from a Viking army and the presence of a coin of this king means the hoard was deposited after c.848. Valued at £1,200 the Friends of the museum contributed £600 towards its purchase.

Gemstone stirrup ring from Waitby

As a nationally Accredited museum the Portable Antiquities Scheme allows the museum at Penrith to have first option to acquire material from the district which is declared Treasure by the Coroner. Curators Dr. Sydney Chapman and Rebecca Short said that they were delighted to have these intriguing discoveries on show and joining an array of other such finds representing the rich and diverse historical culture  of Penrith and the Eden Valley which the Museum and its Friends were dedicated to preserving.

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