Sihtric Caoch Silver Penny (CM.863-2002)

A silver penny of Sihtric Caoch found at Thurcaston, Leicestershire

A sword and cross type silver penny of Sihtric Caoch (Sihtric Cáech) minted for the Viking kingdom of Northumbria. Sihtric Caoch was the Scandinavian ruler of Dublin from 917-920 CE and subsequently the ruler of Northumbria from 921-927 CE. It is not certain why he left Ireland. The Irish annals state that it was ‘through the grace of God’ and do not elaborate on the politics behind his departure. After the establishment of the Danelaw, some Viking leaders decided to mint their own coins to solidify their legitimacy in the eyes of the local populace. This created a hybrid economy where some members of the Danelaw used bullion and others used coins.

This coin was part of a hoard of twelve coins found at Thurcaston between 1992 and 2000. The coins are Anglo-Saxon, Arabic and Viking issues, and show the diverse and wide-ranging contacts between societies at this time. The hoard was probably deposited c.923-925 CE, approximately five years after Leicester had been retaken by Mercia (c.918 CE). They indicate that a bullion economy was still operating in the Danelaw as late as the 920s. This suggests that the reconquest did not manage to institute Anglo-Saxon practices such as a monetary economy immediately.

Object Type



921 — 927

Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


coin, Currency, Danelaw Saga, Economy, Fitzwilliam_Museum, Leicestershire, penny, silver, Thurcaston hoard, trade, Viking

Further information

You can see the original at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

This object is related to Thurcaston, Leicestershire.
Find out about Thurcaston, Leicestershire.


© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


The Fitzwilliam Museum