TWO men have appeared in court after a stash of Viking coins worth nearly £1m were found by police.

Officers seized a large number of coins and a silver ingot, which have an estimated value of nearly £1 million from properties in County Durham and Lancashire in 2019.

The hoard contained coins of Alfred the Great of Wessex and his less well-known contemporary Ceolwulf II of Mercia.

Craig Best, 44, of South View, Bishop Auckland and Roger Pilling, 73, of Goodshaw Avenue North, Loveclough, stood before Newton Aycliffe magistrates yesterday charged with conspiracy to convert criminal property and possession of criminal property between September 2018 and May 2019.

The pair – who entered no pleas – will next appear at Durham Crown Court on Tuesday, October 5.