Just one element from Britain’s largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard: a Christian cross which has been folded, possibly to make it fit into a small space prior to burial.

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The news came early last week after the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), the government's fund of last resort for heritage items at risk, pledged £1,285,000 - bringing the campaign to the £3.3m target, just over three weeks ahead of schedule.

ATG understands that the 1500-piece hoard of gold will be jointly held by the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, although details of how this will be managed are not yet clear.

The Art Fund has also proved a major benefactor, launching a fund-raising campaign in mid January by committing £300,000 of its own to add to the £100,000 pledges from Birmingham and Stoke City Councils.

Birmingham City Councillor Martin Mullaney highlighted just how much the campaign had caught the public's attention, pointing out that £900,000 of the £3.3m raised had come from personal donations.

Visit www.artfund.org/hoard for details of ongoing donations.