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Galloway Hoard saved for the nation

Thursday 26 October, 2017

National Museums Scotland has today announced that it has achieved its fundraising target of £1.98 million in order to acquire the Galloway Hoard on behalf of the nation.


National Museums Scotland has today announced that it has achieved its fundraising target of £1.98 million in order to acquire the Galloway Hoard on behalf of the nation. A generous funding contribution of £1 million from The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), £150,000 from the Scottish Government and widespread public support have helped secure the future of the unique Hoard of Viking-age treasures.

Following the allocation of the Galloway Hoard in May 2017 to National Museums Scotland by the Queen’s Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, National Museums had just six months in which to raise the necessary funds. Since then a wide-ranging campaign has been underway to raise funds from trusts and private sources.

The acquisition has been made possible by the generosity of funding from the NHMF, Art Fund, members of the public, the Scottish Government and trusts.

People have been incredibly generous in their response to the campaign with over 1500 donations from the public appeal enabling us to reach our target of £200,000.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said,

“I am hugely grateful to the National Heritage Memorial Fund for its generous Grant of £1 million. This contribution has provided the final step to reaching our target and enabled us to save the Hoard for the nation.
“In the last six months we have been overwhelmed by the response from the general public who have got behind our campaign to ‘Save the Hoard’. I am also grateful for the generosity of Art Fund, the Scottish Government, charitable trusts and individual donors.
 “I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who has generously donated to the Campaign, without them this incredible achievement would not have been possible.
 “Now we look forward to starting the work on conserving and researching the Hoard to unlock its secrets”

John Glen, UK Government Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said,

 "The Galloway Hoard is an incredible collection that has given us a deeper understanding of the history of the Viking Age in Scotland. As an unparalleled find of global significance, I am thrilled that the National Heritage Memorial Fund has helped save it for the nation."

Seona Reid, NHMF trustee, said,

 “This is wonderful news. The Galloway Hoard is an exquisite collection of rare treasure with global significance.  It provides important insight into Scotland and the UK’s relationship with Europe and the wider world during the Viking era and that is why the National Heritage Memorial Fund was committed to helping to save it for the nation.”

Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund said,

Art Fund is honoured to have played a part in this incredible campaign, whose success means that this unique hoard of Viking-age treasure will be safely entrusted to National Museums Scotland.   It can now remain on view to enthral countless visitors from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond, shining bright new light on the ancient history of our lands.”

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said,

“The Galloway Hoard is one of the most important collections ever discovered in Scotland. It is important that the hoard is made available for the people of Scotland and our visitors from around the world to see. I am delighted that National Museums Scotland has been able to secure the necessary funding to acquire this collection for the nation and that the Scottish Government has been able to provide £150,000 of support.”

A selection of objects from the Hoard is currently on display at the National Museum of Scotland until 29 October. Visitors have a small window of opportunity in which to see it before it is taken away for vital conservation. 

It is anticipated that the necessary conservation and research work will take around two years before the Hoard will once again be seen at the National Museum of Scotland prior to a national tour. Further details of the tour will be announced at a later date.

Further information and images from Susan Gray, Bruce Blacklaw or Alice Wyllie, National Museums Scotland Press Office on 0131 247 4088 or

Notes to Editors

1. About the National Heritage Memorial Fund

The National Heritage Memorial Fund was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of our national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK. It will receive £5 million of Government grant in aid in 2017/18. Instagram: @NationalHeritageMemorialFund #MemorialFinerThanStone

The Galloway Hoard joins a diverse range of over 1,200 iconic objects and places which have been safeguarded by the NHMF to the tune of over £300million. These include:

  • The Coenwulf Coin
  • The Mary Rose
  • The Flying Scotsman
  • The last surviving World War II destroyer, HMS Cavalier
  • A collection of the work of WWII code-breaker Alan Turing
  • The personal archive of Siegfried Sassoon, WWI soldier, author and poet.
  • Skokholm Island, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Pembrokeshire

2. About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by the The Hepworth Wakefield in 2017) and a range of digital platforms. Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at

3. Funding breakdown of the acquisition:


£1 million

Art Fund


Public campaign including donors and trusts, and self-funding


Scottish Government




4. About the Galloway Hoard

The Galloway Hoard brings together the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. It is of international significance and will transform our understanding of this period of Scottish history.

Uncovered by a metal detectorist in Dumfries and Galloway, the Galloway Hoard comprises in excess of 100 gold, silver and other items from the Viking Age. It was buried at the beginning of the tenth century, although some of the items within the Hoard date from an earlier period.

The bulk of the find is a rich Viking-age hoard of silver jewellery and ingots. However, it also contains an outstanding range of exceptional precious metal and jewelled items including a rare gold ingot, a gold bird-shaped pin and a decorated silver-gilt cup of Continental or Byzantine origin. The Galloway Hoard is unique in bringing together a remarkable variety of objects in one discovery, hinting at hitherto unknown connections between people across Europe and beyond.

5. About National Museums Scotland

National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.

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