AN almost 2,000 year old Roman lead ingot will take pride of place in Craven Museum following the successful fundraising of just under £23,000.

Also known as a ‘pig’, the ingot, which dates from AD 81, is one of a pair found by Sir Thomas Ingilby in around 1731 at Hayshaw Moor, near Pateley Bridge. It is about 23 inches long, and four inches wide, and weighs 154Ibs, or 11 stones. It has been kept at Ripley Castle until now, while its companion has been in the British Museum since 1772.

Danielle Daglan, Craven District Council’s cultural services manager, said it had great significance to the area and would be a ‘fantastic addition’ to the museum's collection.

Half of the cost has come from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, with the rest coming from trusts, a donation of £500 and just more than £3,400 from the council itself.

Ms Daglan said: “It has great significance to the Craven area, will capture the imagination of visitors to Craven Museum, and has a powerful story to tell by being displayed in the area where it was mined and made.

“It is extremely unusual to find two Roman lead ingots from any area; to have two from this area of Craven, where lead mining was a significant reason for the presence of Romans is particularly important.”

She said: “The object will open up discussions concerning the relations between the Brigantes and the Romans in the area, including issues of slavery, trade and transport, giving these a human context and allowing visitors to understand the museum’s collections in a new light.”

The museum is currently undergoing a complete redesign of its displays as part of the Skipton Town Hall redevelopment project, and is due to reopen in the spring.

“As part of this process we will be re-telling the story of lead mining in the Craven area,” said Ms Daglan. “By including this ingot in the permanent display we can show the importance and antiquity of the process in the region. It will also add context to the wider displays of Roman objects from Kirk Sink Villa and Elslack Roman Fort.”

The inscription on the ingot reads: “Imperatore Caesare Domitiano Augusto Consule Septimum’, referring to the Emperor Domitian’s seventh consulate, placing the making of this particular lead ingot to the latter part of 81 AD.

The word ‘BRIG’ on the side indicates it was produced in the territory of the Brigantes, a tribe that was settled across much of modern-day northern England.

The cost of the lead ‘pig’ was £22,941. £11,470 came from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund; £5,000 from the Headley Trust; £2,500 from the North Yorkshire County Councillor Locality Budgets scheme and £500 from a private donation.

The remainder came from Craven Museum’s acquisition budget and the Cultural Services budget underspend.

Craven District Council’s Policy Committee agreed the purchase of the object in October last year.