When most people think of buried treasure, they also think of pirates. While that has been true in a number of historical cases, Vikings are a strong (if not stronger) contender for “most buried treasure.” We’ve covered Viking treasure before, but the Cuerdale hoard is really something else. It’s another example of how much the Vikings valued silver, and how times of uncertainty and war forced them to keep their treasure safely hidden. However, people knew about the Cuerdale Hoard for hundreds of years – it just took a long time to find it.
As long as anyone could remember, there was a local legend known to most of the people in Lancashire, England. It was said that if you stood on the south bank of the River Ribble near Walton-le Dale, and looked up the river toward the village of Ribchester, you would be looking at the greatest treasure in all of England. The legend was so old that everyone had long forgotten its origin. Over time, it fell into the land of make-believe – as the river had been scoured by treasure hunters through the ages. Farmers took ploughs and dug deep all along the river and its banks, but never turned up anything. The legend was surely an old wives’ tale, or maybe even a reference to the beautiful countryside. For a long while, people gave up searching along the River Ribble and the legend began to fade into memory.
However, the treasure proved to be real after all. And the part about it being “the greatest treasure in all of England” was no understatement; not by a long shot. So how was this vast hoard finally found? Find out in our next blog post!