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Posted on Thursday 19 August 2021
Officer from back

Two men have been charged after coins from an important Viking hoard were recovered during a police investigation.

Durham Constabulary officers seized a large number of coins and a silver ingot, which have an estimated value of nearly £1 million from properties in County Durham and Lancashire in 2019.

It comes from a Viking hoard and is believed to be of major historical significance.

A 44-year-old man, of Bishop Auckland, and a 73-year-old man, from Loveclough, Lancashire, have both been charged with conspiracy to convert criminal property and possession of criminal property between September 2018 and May 2019.

The 73-year-old man has also been charged with a second count of possession of criminal property.

The haul contains coins of Alfred the Great of Wessex and his less well-known contemporary Ceolwulf II of Mercia.

King Alfred inflicted a major defeat on the Vikings in AD 878 and experts from the British Museum believe the coins belong to an undeclared hoard consistent with the location of the Viking army at that time.

The hoard is so important because it fills a gap in the understanding of history at this time. Until now accounts have suggested Ceolwulf of Mercia as a “puppet” of the Vikings and a minor nobleman rather than a proper King.

However, the coins tell a very different historical story and show two rulers standing side by side as allies.

The two men are on unconditional bail and will appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 7.

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