Staffordshire Hoard returns to Tamworth Castle

August 24, 2012

The Ancient capital of Mercia is set to host the Hoard once more

A selection of items from the Staffordshire Hoard is set to return to Tamworth Castle in a brand new exhibition this August.

The 22 unconserved items will be unveiled on Saturday 25 August and will remain on display for 12 months. As well as the Hoard artefacts, new interpretation boards and interactive displays will explain the weapons and warfare of Saxon Mercia – and Tamworth’s importance as its capital.

There will also be stunning new replica items which will shed more light on how original Saxon weapons were made and used. Visitors of all ages will be able to try their hand at writing with runes and dressing up in period costumes.

This new display is one of the first steps towards developing the ‘Mercian Trail’, which aims to tell the story of the Staffordshire Hoard and the region’s Anglo-Saxon history.

As well as seeing the Hoard, the book – ‘Tamworth, the Ancient Capital of Mercia’ – will also be on sale. Written by Stephen Pollington, the celebrated Anglo Saxon historian, lecturer and author, the illustrated 64-page book looks at the history of Tamworth as the ancient capital of Mercia.

Entrance to the Castle is £5.50 for adults and £3 for children. This covers both the exhibition and access to the rest of the ancient monument.

The Hoard’s return to Tamworth coincides with this year’s Heritage Festival, which will once again see Saxons set up camp in the Castle Grounds on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September.

Last year 17,000 people flocked to the grounds for the event. The Saxon encampment took over the entire Castle Grounds and put on re-enactments and demonstrations, while giving children the chance to take part in battles. All activities will be free of charge.

Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “I am delighted to have the Staffordshire Hoard back in Tamworth. The launch of this event coincides with the Saxons setting up camp in the Castle Grounds, keeping a watchful eye over the Hoard and giving people a glimpse as what life was like.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Castle to see this new exhibition.”

Notes to editor:

  • The Castle is currently in the middle of a Heritage Lottery Fund project, with major building works in progress. There is currently no access to the courtyard and dungeon and there are no toilet facilities on site. All other rooms are open as normal.
  • Last year’s Staffordshire Hoard exhibition saw 14,000 people visit Tamworth Castle to see the 40 star items.
  • This included the folded cross, the pectoral cross, the sea horse, sword pommels and helmet fragments.
  • This exhibition is part of the ‘Mercian Trail’ partnership which aims to tell the emerging story of the Staffordshire Hoard and the region’s Anglo-Saxon history, through a series of informative permanent and temporary displays and a programme of outreach activities aimed at residents and visitors.
  • Organisations involved are: Birmingham Museum Trust, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield District Council, Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council & Birmingham City Council jointly own the Staffordshire Hoard and kindly loaned pieces from the collection to make the Tamworth exhibition possible.

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