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Croy

Balance, Bead(S), Coin(S) (9th Century), Penannular Brooch(S)

Site Name Croy

Classification Balance, Bead(S), Coin(S) (9th Century), Penannular Brooch(S)

Alternative Name(s) Croy Hoard

Canmore ID 14148

Site Number NH74NE 13

NGR NH 7950 4936

NGR Description NH c. 7950 4936

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/14148

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Croy And Dalcross (Inverness)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH74NE 13 c. 7950 4936

See also NH74NE 14.

The Croy hoard was discovered in two parts:

Part One was found within a square yard by a girl planting potato drills in the spring of 1875 and was brought to the NMAS in May, 1875. It consists of a silver penannular brooch, dated by R A Smith (A O Curle 1939) to circa 820 AD.; part of a band of knitted silver wire; a silver penny of Coenwulf, King of Mercia AD 796-821; by the moneyer Eanmund; two glass and two amber beads and part of a bronze balance beam, which may possibly be dated to the 8th century (Megaw 1940). At least one other coin and a few more beads were found but were lost by the original finder.

Part two was found by Mr James Shearer, Mains of Croy, in 1875 or 1876 and consisted of a portion of one, and almost half of another, silver penannular brooch; one amber and two glass beads; and a coin originally thought also to be of Coenwolf but re-attributed, quite definitely, by C E Blunt to Athelwulf, King of Wessex AD. 839-858, and is by the moneyer Deineah.

Both parts of the hoard are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

The find-spot is about half a mile from Croy Parish Church, on Mains of Croy farm, near the road from Croy (NH 79 49) to Dalcross Castle (NH 77 48) on the summit of a low gravelly ridge, in a field first cultivated circa 1864 AD.

T Fraser and J Anderson 1876; J Anderson 1881; A Ross 1886; A O Curle 1939; B R S Megaw 1940; C E Blunt 1952.

According to Miss Cammeron (Moss Cottage, Croy, Inverness-shire) the Croy Hoard was found in the field of Clach na Sanais (NH74NE 11) many years ago. At the time of the find the Laird of Cantray had a replica made of of the silver penannular brooch, which he presented to his daughter on her wedding-day. Miss Cameron asserts that there used to be a low gravelly ridge in this field, which is now pasture, and also at the bottom of the field there is a swampy area known as the Moss of Croy, in which another silver brooch of identical pattern and shape as the previous penannular brooch was found "many years ago" by a man digging peat (Information from Mrs MacLennan, Roy Cottage, Croy, Inverness-shire). (There may be some confusion about this last statement by Mrs MacLennan - Miss Cameron being the more reliable authority)

Visited by OS (RB), 21 August 1964.

Activities

Geophysical Survey (27 March 2015 - 30 March 2015)

NH 7950 4936 As part of the Northern Picts Project surveys and excavations have been undertaken in an area stretching from Aberdeenshire to Shetland targeting sites that can help contextualize the character of society in the early medieval period in northern Pictland.

In Spring 2015 a joint project between the University of Aberdeen and National Museums Scotland targeted the findspot of the Croy hoard, a probable 9th-century hoard that included Pictish brooches, part of a bronze balance beam, Anglo-Saxon coins and beads.

A geophysical survey was undertaken, 27–30 March 2015, on the high ground where Pictish silver artefacts were discovered in the 19th century. The survey did not locate any anomalies in the area. Metal detecting also took place across the large field in which the hoard was located. The only finds were modern metal pieces and a number of musket balls which were mapped using DGPS. The latter are potentially interesting given the location of Croy, just a few miles from the battle of Culloden.

Archive: University of Aberdeen

Funder: University of Aberdeen Development Trust in association with the Tarbat Discovery Centre, and National Museums Scotland

Gordon Noble and Martin Goldberg – University of Aberdeen and National Museums Scotland

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

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