The St. Ninian’s Isle Treasure is a hoard of silverware discovered in St. Ninian’s Kirk.
The hoard was found on the 4th of July 1958 in a larch box under a cross-inscribed stone slab in the floor of the church. It has been suggested that the silver was hidden for safekeeping upon the approach of Norse raiders at the end of the 8th century or beginning of the 9th century.
The hoard contained Pictish silver penannular brooches, bowls and other artefacts including sword decorations. The brooch pictured above was found to have been only 40% pure silver, indicating that it was made from heavily diluted silver possibly as a result of recycling. One of the bowls can be seen in the top left of the photo below.
A probably 8th century Pictish brooch can be seen labelled “4” in the photo below (along with brooches from Aldclune labelled “5” and Rogart labelled “6” dating to a similar period).
The silverware was donated to the then National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, now the National Museums of Scotland, in 1965-6, and replicas are housed in the Shetland Museum.
OS Map for St. Ninian's Isle
Alternative names for St. Ninian's Isle
St. Ninian's Isle Treasure