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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Hundreds turn out to see Furness Viking collection

HUNDREDS of people stormed the Dock Museum to see the new home of one of the most significant archaeological finds in Cumbria’s history.

The “Stone Age, Blood Axe, Conquest” gallery – which houses the precious Furness Viking hoard – opened to the public on Saturday.

The 92-piece collection, which includes fragile coins, ingots and bracelets, was discovered under a rock by a metal detectorist near Stainton quarry in 2011.

A community fundraising campaign raised not only the £49,500 needed to purchase the treasure from the Crown, but enough to build the gallery in which it is now displayed.

Walney residents Dennis and Wendy Currie popped in for their first look at the collection and were suitably impressed.

They predicted it would be very popular with the Danish residents working on the windfarms off Walney. Mrs Currie said: “It’s very good. I think it will be a tourist attraction and it’s great that it was able to remain in Furness.”

Re-enactment group the Herlid Vikings, which helped raise a substantial amount of money towards establishing the gallery, was again present to thrill children with their exploits.

Terry Harvey-Chadwick – aka Bjarni Thorvaldrson – said he was delighted to be able help keep the hoard in Furness for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

“It looks really nice,” he said. “The Viking hoard is of huge historical significance and it’s a real bonus to have it displayed here.”

Eleven-year-old Marcia Dougan, of Barrow, was just one of dozens of youngsters to turn out to watch the Herlid Vikings in battle.

“It was pretty scary,” she said.

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