Skaill Viking Hoard in Orkney

Posted by Ms Elly on

Skaill Viking Hoard in Orkney

In March 1858, a boy named David Linklater in pursuit of a rabbit came across a hole near St. Peter's Kirk in Sandwick. When digging up an entrance, he happened to find some pieces of silver in the dust. 

Astonished by the beauty of the find, many more people in the neighbor joined te young Linklater. They all had been waiting to gather the treasure from the shore of Bay O'Skaill.

As a team, they unearthed and finally excavated more than hundred items dating back to the Viking Age. This also became the largest Viking treasure ever found in Scotland. 

The hoard weighed up to 15lbs of silver. It consisted of nine brooches, 14 necklets, 27 armlets and an assortment of ingots and silver fragments.

Viking hoard

Viking hoard in Skaill

There were also a number of Anglo-Saxon and Arabic coins.

The fact that many of the objects had been "nicked" to test the quality indicating that they had passed through a number of hands before ending up in Orkney. In fact, the number of nicks on the items shows roughly how many times each piece had changed owner.

But the treasure did not remain with these native finders for long.

Finally, the collection was transferred to Edinburgh where, like most of the important archaeological finds from Orkney, it remains to this day.

Viking brooch

Drawing of Viking brooch found in Skaill

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