A MAJOR new exhibition featuring Viking finds from North Yorkshire will take place at the British Museum next year.

Vikings: Life And Legend is the first major exhibition on Vikings to be held at the London museum for more than 30 years, and will include artefacts from the Vale of York alongside items from around the UK and Ireland, and the museum’s own collection.

The Vale of York Hoard, which was found by metal detectorists near Harrogate in 2007, will be shown in its entirety for the first time since it was found and jointly acquired by the British Museum and York Museums Trust.

The hoard includes 617 coins, six arm rings and a quantity of bullion and hack-silver, and is considered the largest and most important Viking hoard to be found since 1840’s Cuerdale Hoard, part of which will also will also be included in the exhibition.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said: “The reach and cultural connections of the Viking Age make it a remarkable story shared by many countries, not least here in the British Isles.

“New discoveries and research have led to a wealth of new information about the Vikings so it is a perfect moment to look again at this critical era. Temporary exhibitions of this nature are only possible thanks to external support so I am hugely grateful to BP for their longstanding and ongoing commitment to the British Museum.”

The exhibit focuses on the Viking Age between the late 8th century to the early 11th century, particularly on the expansion from Scandinavia and the creation of a cultural network which reached from the Caspian Sea to the North Atlantic, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean.

It will also look at what it meant to be a Viking, from the violent contact with other cultures, and the trading and transportation of goods and slaves.

The surviving timbers of a 37-metre-long Viking boat, believed to be a royal warship will also be on display at the exhibit, and is the longest ever found and never seen before in the UK.

The exhibition runs at the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery between March 6 and June 22 next year. For more information go to britishmuseum.org