A Royal Saxon sword discovered in a muddy riverbed more than 90 years ago is coming back home.

Wareham Museum is set to welcome back the iconic sword, which after being found on the River Frome during the construction of the town’s South Bridge in 1927, was donated to the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

The sword is being lent to Wareham Museum this year, and throughout 2019, while the Dorset County Museum is redeveloped.

Made in the late 900s, the hilt and about half the blade survive.

Traces of an inscription on the grip show the sword was owned by a member of the royal family of Wessex.

Wareham Museum honorary curator Ben Buxton said: “We welcome the return of this link with Wareham’s illustrious Saxon past, a time when the town was one of the biggest in the south of England and a place the kings of Wessex would have known very well.” The sword will join a reproduction, commissioned by the museum, of how it might have looked when new, and some Saxon coins minted in Wareham, in the museum’s display about the sword and Saxon Wareham.

Also, to mark the sword’s return, Southampton University’s Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, David Hinton, will be delivering a free talk on the sword at Wareham Town Hall.

Mr Buxton said: “We are honoured that Professor Hinton is coming to tell us about this heritage.”

The talk is scheduled for a 7.30pm start on Tuesday, June 19.

Experts believe Wareham was an important town in the Kingdom of Wessex during Saxon times. There was probably a royal palace at Wareham and the town’s famous ‘walls’, were constructed around the same time. Today Wareham’s walls are some of the best preserved Saxon town defences in England.

A town museum spokesman said: “The sword is the only Saxon sword found in England with a royal owner’s name on it.

“Intriguingly, the intricate decoration on the hilt is in the style of the Vikings, the enemies of the Saxons.”

The sword has been loaned to Wareham Museum on two previous occasions.