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Anglo Saxon pendant found in Norfolk in new national exhibition

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 November 2018

The Anglo-Saxon pendant from the Winfarthing grave assemblage. Pic: Norfolk Museums Service.

The Anglo-Saxon pendant from the Winfarthing grave assemblage. Pic: Norfolk Museums Service.

Norfolk Museums Service

A spectacular and unique pendant more than 1,000 years old discovered in South Norfolk is now featuring in a major national exhibition on the Anglo-Saxon period in Britain.

The Domesday Book, which will be showing at the new British Library Anglo Saxon Kingdoms exhibition alongside the Winfarthing Pendant, discovered in Norfolk. PHOTO: National ArchivesThe Domesday Book, which will be showing at the new British Library Anglo Saxon Kingdoms exhibition alongside the Winfarthing Pendant, discovered in Norfolk. PHOTO: National Archives

The Winfarthing Pendant was discovered by former UEA landscape archaeology student Tom Lucking in 2014 near Winfarthing, Diss.

It is now a part of The British Library’s new London exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War, running from October 19 - February 19, and will feature alongside such well known treasures as the Alfred Jewel and the Domesday Book.

The 7cm pendant is made with gold and red garnet. Some garnets have been cut in a popular and highly-skilled design technique from the period where representations of creatures are stretched out and intricately interwoven.

The grave it was found in also contained a necklace made up of two gold beads, two pendants made from identical Merovingian coins and a gold cross pendant.

Dr Claire Breay, lead curator of the exhibition, said: “We are thrilled to be displaying the recently discovered Winfarthing pendant in the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition.

“This exquisite pendant reveals the wealth and cosmopolitan outlook of its female owner, who was also buried with a bronze bowl and pot from northern Europe.

“The exhibition includes a number of exciting recent archaeological discoveries, such as objects from the Staffordshire Hoard, the Lichfield Angel and the Binham Hoard from north Norfolk, and we are very excited that the Winfarthing pendant is being displayed for the first time outside Norfolk in our exhibition.”

Comparable to gold and garnet jewellery from Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard, the pendant marks its wearer out as of the highest social status.

The find was declared Treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act and was valued by the government’s independent Treasure Valuation Committee at £145,050, prompting a public appeal by the Friends of Norwich Museums to raise the money to save it for Norwich Castle.

With help from a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund and the Friends of Norwich Museums, the money was raised in June this year.

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