TV Archaeologist opens Silverdale Hoard exhibition in Preston

Posted on - 14th February, 2014 - 1:01am | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston



A new exhibition of one of the largest collections of Viking silver ever found goes on show at the Museum of Lancashire (MoL) on Friday 14 February.

Archaeologist and writer Julian Richards, probably best known for his ‘Meet the Ancestors’ TV series will be in Preston to give a lecture as part of Museum of Lancashire’s celebration of the opening of the Silverdale Hoard exhibition.

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Julian will give a free talk, ‘Bringing the Past to Life’, at the Mitchell and Kenyon Lecture Theatre at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) at 11.30am on Friday 14 February.

The Silverdale Hoard had been buried in a lead pouch under a field near Silverdale, a coastal village in north Lancashire. It had lain there for more than 1,000 years before being discovered by a local metal detectorist in September 2011.

The following December the Hoard was declared Treasure in line with the Treasure Act 1996, and was later valued at nearly £110,000.


Julian Richards is an experienced archaeologist, presenter on television and radio. An expert on Stonehenge Julian developed and presented the popular BBC 2 shows Meet the Ancestors and Blood of the Vikings, writing accompanying books for both series. He also designed the award winning game Hunt the Ancestor for the BBC History website to which he has been a regular contributor. Julian also presented six series of Mapping the Town on Radio 4. His new four-part new television series, Stories from the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited recently aired on BBC 4.

Julian commented “I am delighted to be in Preston to help launch the exhibition of the Silverdale Hoard at the Museum of Lancashire.

“This highly significant find brings another little piece of the historical jigsaw together to help us gain more of an understanding of our past. On a personal level, as I have family connections in the area it was found, it seems ‘just right’ to be here to see this Viking silver on public display.”

Lancashire County Council gratefully acknowledges UCLan for their help and support in arranging the free talk by Julian Richards.

A full programme of Viking-related events will run throughout the exhibition. These start on Saturday 15 February from 10.30am to 5pm with family-friendly activities.

On Sunday 16 February visitors will have the opportunity to join Sven the Viking for an afternoon exploring fearsome Viking weaponry and battle tactics. The sessions run from 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 2pm to 3.30pm.

The Silverdale Hoard was acquired last year by Lancashire County Council’s museums service, with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund. No council taxpayers’ money was used for the acquisition.

Admission to the MoL is free. For more information about the exhibition and talk, phone 01772 534075 or email Alternatively, visit

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