Bristol Museum & Art Gallery to host globally important treasures
October 19, 2016
Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard
22 October 2016 – 23 April 2017
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
A dazzling collection of treasures from the Staffordshire Hoard will go on display at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery from this weekend.
Set within a mysterious forest Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard is a captivating exhibition of gold, silver and semi-precious gems from Anglo-Saxon weaponry.
The Staffordshire Hoard was unearthed in 2009 in a field near Lichfield, placing it in the ancient Kingdom of Mercia. Warfare between England’s many competing regional kingdoms was frequent and the Hoard almost certainly represents the spoils of war, fought during the 7th century AD.
Laura Pye, Head of Culture at Bristol City Council, said:
“The Staffordshire Hoard is arguably the most significant Anglo-Saxon discovery ever made and I’m delighted that we are bringing such globally important objects to Bristol. The beautiful ornaments really capture the imagination and reveal how a sword was more than just a weapon – it signified a warrior’s status, wealth, family and even religious beliefs. I would like to thank our exhibition sponsors, Beaufort Securities and Wards Solicitors.”
The ornaments, decorated with gold, silver and blood red garnets, represent the finest quality Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship. They shed light on a turbulent time in history and give an insight into the possessions of an elite warrior class. This is the first time the collection has been toured outside the West Midlands and the only opportunity the see the exhibition in the south west. More than 50,000 visitors enjoyed the exhibition whilst it was at the Royal Amrouries, Leeds over the summer.
Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard is joined by a new exhibition exploring the highlights of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s archaeology collection.
Stone Age to Iron Age is a beautifully presented display of tools and weapons that show how prehistoric people were resourceful, inventive and skilled. The display features objects that have been found in and around Bristol including 300,000 year old stone tools, Bronze Age swords and beautifully decorated Iron Age jewellery.
Schools are invited to experience an Autumn of Archeology at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery by booking both a Warrior Treasures facilitated exhibition visit and a Stone Age to Iron Age workshop on the same day to make a saving of 20%. A special teachers’ preview of Warrior Treasures will take place on 5 November.
The Staffordshire Hoard is owned by Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils, and cared for on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. It is currently undergoing one of the UK’s largest archaeological research projects, conducted by Barbican Research Associates on behalf of the owners and Historic England, who fund the project. In 2010, the Art Fund led the campaign to acquire the treasure for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, raising £3.3m, including £900,000 through a public appeal.
Talk: The greatest ever find
Sat 26 Nov, 11am – 12pm
Find out more about the greatest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold in 2009 and how it reveals stories about Anglo-Saxon England.
Warrior activity days
Fri 30 Dec & Tue 07 Feb, 11.30am – 3pm
Discover more about the Anglo-Saxons with opportunities to handle replica artefacts, take part in themed activities and listen to a thrilling tale of warrior battles while sat around the campfire.
Sat 11 – Sun 12 Feb, 10am – 4pm
Meet the Wulfheodenas Anglo-Saxon Warriors and get up close to replica weapons and armoury with demos by leather workers and wood carvers. Plus craft activities and trails for children.