Help the Ashmolean save King Alfred's Coins

Example of coin from the Watlington Hoard

The Ashmolean has a unique opportunity to acquire the momentous Watlington Hoard. The first large Viking hoard discovered in Oxfordshire, it contains over 200 Anglo-Saxon coins, including many examples of previously rare coins of King Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (871-899) and his less well-known contemporary, King Ceolwulf II of Mercia (874-879).

Thanks to pivotal grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ashmolean Friends and Patrons, and several individuals, the Ashmolean has already managed to raise 80% of the £1.35m needed. The Ashmolean now has until 31 January 2017 to raise the remaining funds - otherwise it is highly likely that the Hoard will be broken up into individual lots, sold at auction to private collectors, and may not be seen again in public.

Find out more about how you can help!

By making a gift today, you will be helping the Ashmolean to:

  • Ensure a permanent home for the Watlington Hoard
  • Engage visitors of all ages through free public programmes
  • Inspire the widest audience through captivating displays
  • Protect our world class collections for future generations.

See the Hoard on Display

See the Hoard on display at the Ashmolean in the museum's England Gallery until 31 January 2017.

Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has granted the Museum £1,102,500 to support the acquisition of the Watlington Hoard, as well as conservation, display, touring and education programmes to engage as wide an audience as possible with this exciting discovery. The hoard was declared Treasure by the coroner for Oxfordshire in February 2016 and subsequently valued at £1.35m by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

An Exceptional Discovery

In October 2015, metal detectorist James Mather discovered an important Viking hoard near Watlington in South Oxfordshire. It dates from the end of the 870s, a key moment in the struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and Viking for control of southern England.

The Watlington Hoard sheds new light on the conflict between Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, and on the relationship between two great Anglo-Saxon kingdoms for Mercia and Wessex.

The hoard contains over 200 Anglo-Saxon coins, including many examples of previously rare coins of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (871-899) and his less well-known contemporary, King Ceolwulf II of Mercia (874-879). This is the first large Viking hoard discovered in Oxfordshire, which once lay on the border of Wessex and Mercia. The Watlington Hoard therefore has enormous relevance to the county. At the same time this is a find of national importance, providing a major new source of information about this tumultuous time in the history of the nation.

Support

Read the original story on the Ashmolean's Website.

For further information contact the Ashmolean Press Teampress.office@ashmus.ox.ac.uk | 01865 278187

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