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Leominster hoard facts for kids

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Leominster Hoard
Created 850-900 (deposited)
Period/culture Viking

The Leominster hoard is a hoard of coins and jewellery dating to the Viking period found near Leominster, Herefordshire in June 2015.


The hoard was discovered by metal detectorists George Powell and Layton Davies near Eye, Herefordshire, near Leominster in 2015. Under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996, they should have reported the find within 14 days. They did not report the find and instead sold it to dealers, except a few individual pieces which were reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme's local representative, Peter Reavill. The detectorists were illegally detecting on land owned by Lord Cawley.

Contents of the hoard

Much of the hoard had been sold prior to the conviction. Antique dealers in Cardiff and London were used to sell individual items from the hoard.

The hoard originally contained an estimated 300 coins, of which 31 have been recovered along with a silver ingot, a rock-crystal pendant mounted in gold wire, a gold bracelet, and a gold finger ring. The hoard was buried in the late 9th century, from which most of the objects date. The rock-crystal pendant is thought to be 5th or 6th century in date.

The economic value of the hoard has proved difficult to establish, as much of it is still missing and is presumed hidden or sold. One collector who bought 16 of the coins estimated the value of the whole hoard to be as much as £3 million.

Conviction for theft

In 2019 the two detectorists were found guilty of theft and concealment of the find. The coin dealers Simon Wicks and Paul Wells were also found guilty under the concealment charge. Powell was jailed for ten years and Layton for eight-and-a-half. Wicks was jailed for five years. Wells fell ill during the sentencing hearing and was due to be sentenced at a later hearing in December 2019.

Acquisition and transmission

Herefordshire Council Museum were, as of March 2020, in the process of acquiring the surviving parts of the hoard.

In December 2020, it was announced that the story of the hoard was in the shortlist for the Current Archaeology 'Rescue Project of the Year'. Peter Reavill discussed the hoard in an episode of the BBC Radio 4 series The Digital Human on 'Treasures' on 8 March 2021.

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