Staffordshire Hoard coming to Royal Armouries, Leeds from 27th May 2016

Staffordshire_hoard.jpgThe Staffordshire Hoard

A selection will be on display at:
Royal Armouries, Leeds

27th May to 2nd October 2016

Programme of activities including hands-on archaeology sessions, storytelling, handling sessions, crafts, art and combat demonstrations

I’m a fairly regular visitor to Royal Armouries and I am excited about this collection visiting Leeds.

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure haul ever found. It was unearthed at Johnsons Farm near Brownhills, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 5 July 2009.

The hoard consists of around 4000 items which are predominantly decorations stripped from military gear. The hoard weighed over 6Kg of Gold, Silver, Garnet and other stones. It dates from the first half of the 7th Century.

The treasure is owned by Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cared for on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. The site is very close to a major travel route, Watling Street. It isn’t certain but given that war between the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms was common, the Hoard was found in Mercia, it is thought to be stripped from defeated armies.

Britons were already Christian but the Saxons were mostly Pagan, starting to convert to Christianity around this time. Conversion started in 567 AD with Pope Gregory sending St Augustine to Kent.

Henry Yallop, Royal Armouries lead curator for the exhibition and expert in edged weapons, said:

“The Royal Armouries, as the home to the national collection for arms and armour, is delighted to welcome items from this magnificent hoard for the Warrior Treasures exhibition. These parts of weapons are exquisitely crafted and it is no surprise that the story of the Staffordshire Hoard has captured the public’s imagination. Seeing the outstanding quality of these objects really brings to life the important role that high status weapons such as swords played in Anglo-Saxon society. The research and conservation into it continues to provide fascinating glimpses into the warrior culture of the seventh century.”

Pieta Greaves, Conservation Coordinator for the Staffordshire Hoard, Birmingham Museums Trust said:

“Birmingham Museums Trust is thrilled at this opportunity to take some of the star items of the Staffordshire Hoard ‘on the road’. It is the first time some of these amazing items have been revealed after conservation, a process which has re-joined multiple fragments into never seen before objects.”

  • The Staffordshire Hoard exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery – Stoke-on-Trent, Tamworth Castle and Lichfield Cathedral remain open. Opening times:www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk
  • Birmingham Museums Trust website can be found at http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent at http://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/visit/pmag/
  • The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent received support from Arts Council England for the development of this Staffordshire Hoard touring exhibition.
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