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Appeal launched to raise £145,000 so Norfolk Anglo-Saxon treasure can go on show at Norwich Castle

PUBLISHED: 14:45 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:35 06 December 2017

A treasure emerges: The stunning Anglo-Saxon pendant emerges from the Norfolk mud.

A treasure emerges: The stunning Anglo-Saxon pendant emerges from the Norfolk mud.

Archant

The public were today urged to help raise £145,000 in a race against time, so treasure found in a Norfolk field can go on show at Norwich Castle.

Archaeology student Tom Lucking. Picture: ANTONY KELLYArchaeology student Tom Lucking. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Anglo-Saxon treasure was found in a field near Winfarthing, by University of East Anglia history student Tom Lucking, two years ago.

The British Museum described the find as “an assemblage of artefacts most probably deriving from an early Anglo-Saxon female furnished burial” and it has just been valued.

The grave included a necklace made up of two gold beads, two pendants made from identical Merovingian coins and a gold cross pendant inlaid with delicate filigree wire.

But most remarkable was a large pendant worn lower down on the woman’s chest. Made of gold, it has hundreds of tiny garnets inlaid into it, with interlacing beasts and geometrical shapes.

Comparable to gold and garnet jewellery from Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard, it marks its wearer out as having been of the highest social status in life, and through wearing a cross, among the earliest Anglo-Saxon converts to Christianity.

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery now has just three months to raise the money to buy the finds, which include the large gold and garnet pendant. The fundraising push is being led by the Friends of Norwich Museums.

Chair of the Friends, Francesca Makins, said: “We are delighted to assist Norwich Castle in the fundraising appeal for this wonderful and precious treasure.

“Found in Norfolk, this delicate jewel is a reminder of the wealth and sophistication of the East Anglian kingdom and deserves to stay in the county of its discovery.

“We encourage anyone able to assist us in saving this spectacular artefact for Norwich Castle.”

The money will be split between Mr Lucking, who was 23 and living in Bowthorpe when he made the find, his metal detecting partner Stuart Isaacs and the landowner.

Dr Tim Pestell, senior curator of archaeology at Norwich Castle, said: “This find is an exceptional example of the type of jewellery worn by women of high status in the seventh century.”

To donate to the fundraising appeal, visit www.friendsofthenorwichmuseums.co.uk or write to FNM Treasurer Janet Duncan, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich, NR1 3JQ.

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