New book celebrates Tamworth’s unique history

August 31, 2011

Image of book coverAn exclusive new book charting Tamworth’s important role in the story of the Staffordshire Hoard has now been released, ahead of the gold coming to the castle.

‘Tamworth, the Ancient Capital of Mercia’ has been written by Stephen Pollington, a celebrated Anglo-Saxon historian, lecturer and author.

The illustrated 64-page book looks at the history of Tamworth as the ancient capital of Mercia and charts the area’s historical significance, from bloody battles, to religion and politics.

The book is priced at £5 and is on sale at the town’s Tourist Information Centre and also at Tamworth Castle. Any profits from the sale of the book will help to fund new and existing heritage projects.

‘Tamworth, the Ancient Capital of Mercia’ was commissioned by Tamworth Borough Council, and supported by Tamworth Lions Club, Rotary Club of Tamworth, Rotary Club of Tamworth Anker and Soroptimist International.

The book follows the rise and fall of Mercia, the military and economic power which could have brought the hoard together, as well as looks at the clues as to why it was consigned to the ground.

And according to Stephen Pollington: “Tamworth was the capital of the kingdom of Mercia for many centuries. Its wealth and power were widely known across northern Europe in the 7th to 10th centuries.

“In July 2009 a fantastic hoard of gold, jewels and silver worthy of a king’s treasury were found near the town. It comprised more than 3,000 pieces, all taken from the highest ranking warrior equipment and probably from one army. What is the connection of the Staffordshire Hoard to Tamworth? Who buried these treasures on a hillside above a major road, and why?”

Stephen Pollington also recently visited Tamworth to present ‘The Dark Ages – the Myths Dispelled’ at Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

The Staffordshire Hoard is on display at Tamworth Castle for three weeks until 18 September 2011. The next stop for the touring exhibition is Washington DC, when it will go on display in the National Geographic Museum.

The exhibition is free and the last few tickets can be snapped up from Tamworth’s Tourist Information Centre, Corporation Street.

Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Tamworth Borough Council, said: “Not only do we have the Staffordshire Hoard on display at the castle, we also have an insightful book charting our place in the story of the hoard. I am delighted we have this book – written by a respected historian – which shows the importance of Tamworth over the centuries.”

Over the bank holiday weekend there will be a three-day Saxon festival taking place in the Castle Grounds.

Contact Tamworth Information Centre on 01827 709581 or 01827 709618

Tamworth Information Centre are open 9am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.

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