Keepers’ Corner – King Cnut, the first Viking King of England

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The Lenborough hoard contains over 5000 silver Anglo-Saxon and Viking coins, the largest hoard of this period found in Britain for over 150 years, and the coins are in amazing condition.

Buried around 1035 AD, most of the coins are from the reign of King Cnut. Known as Cnut the great, he was the first Viking king of all England.

Following war with the English King Ethelred II (the unready), and his son Edmund Ironside, Cnut finally reached a peace with Edmund after Ethelred’s death. They agreed to divide England between them, but Edmund only lived a few months, leaving Cnut as sole ruler of the country. Cnut went on to become King of Norway and Denmark, leaving England as part of an important and powerful Anglo-Scandinavian empire, which unfortunately, did not survive him. Had it done so, England would not have been in a state of unrest in the 1060s, and William the Conqueror would likely not have invaded, meaning that the last 1000 years of England’s relationship with Europe would likely have been very different.


Come and view the amazing Lenborough Hoard, with over 4000 silver pennies of Cnut, on permanent display at the Museum.


Next weeks in Keepers’ Corner we’ll discuss ‘shepherd’s crowns’.




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