In 2007, David Whelan and his son, Andrew were pursuing their hobby of metal detecting in a field near Harrogate. Their sensors were buzzing into overdrive and a small dig on the spot revealed a magnificent discovery. Buried in the ground was a lead chest and silver bowl, with coins. On closer inspection these items dated back to Viking times. The astonished pair somehow resisted the temptation to dig further and alerted the “Finds liason officer,” who transported the findings to the British Museum for further observation. The chest was buried in AD928 and contained 67 objects of interest, including a hoard of 617 coins, a rare gold arm ring, a church vessel used to hold communion bread, ornaments and ingots. The bowl had been used to store communion bread and originated from Northern France, while some of the objects found came from diverse places including Scandinavia, Russia, Afghanistan and Ireland. They had been protected by lead sheeting, which was why the hoard was so well preserved. The Vale of York hoard was the most important find in 150 years and was valued at a total of just over £1m. The treasure was put on display at the Yorkshire museum in York on 17th September 2009.
On This Day In Yorkshire