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Archive for the tag “history”

It’s the Geographer in me!

A gem of a temporary exhibition has popped up at  the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh entitled Dr. Livingstone, I presume? which is running till the 7th of April. Showcasing a chronological view of Livingstone’s explorations, the exhibition marks 200 years since David Livingstone’s birth in Blantyre, Scotland.

Medicine horn

Antelope medicine horn from Nyasaland.

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Conservation time!

I’ve been a busy little bee these past few days and today was no exception. I was invited on a tour of the conservation studios at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

At first I thought I would simply be watching some of the processes going on, but oh no, I was handed the chemicals and told to have a go haha!!

So here is what I did…

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Into the archives…

On Friday the 12th of October I finally got round to visiting the Shakespeare Museum, Library and Archive Collections who had kindly provided me with lots of information on Anglo-Saxon archaeology digs across Warwickshire, specifically the ones at Bidford and Alveston. I also had a read of the Wasperton dig too as there was an amazing book in the reading room about it.

Here is a map to show the distribution of pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in the Avon valley where the archaeology digs took place. By contrast with the sparse, peripheral Anglo-Saxon archaeology of Staffordshire, that of Warwickshire shows the valley of the Avon in the southern half of the county, to have been an important focus of pagan burial practices. Map from ‘The West Midlands in the Early Middle Ages’ by Gelling, M. (1992):

The collection is situated right by where I work, at the Shakespeare Centre itself, and looks after the largest collection of Shakespeare related materials in the UK. Their collection includes rare manuscripts, books, photographs, artefacts and works of art. One of their great treasures is the First Folio which is believed to have belonged to Shakespeare. Obviously the collection isn’t all about Shakespeare though- it is a local history archive too with records dating back to the 12th C- hence why they have archaeology records and artefacts…with items like this beauty…

Anglo-Saxon Large Square-Headed Bronze Brooch

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Recent Roman news

I’ve been writing articles for friends these past few days so I hope my blog wont get neglected too much. Luckily, because I am involved in so many organisations and also friends with such interesting people, I have no end of blog material for posts.

This post is particularly interesting as the story was in the news! The Bloxwich Research and Metal Detector Club, who I have mentioned before when I visited Tamworth, have been busy finding Roman goodies! The whole find, comprising of five brooches and four bronze coins, was unearthed from land near Overseal last month, which reveals the site has a Roman past.

dolphin’-style brooch

Image taken from Burton Mail Newspaper.

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‘Not’ the Staffordshire Hoard…my trip to the Potteries Museum

Well, I decided to go my hometown over the weekend as I had booked my place on a talk at the Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent. As you might have guessed, it was a talk on Anglo-Saxon history. My obsession with this period in history is gradually getting bigger. I have bought numerous new books, become involved with reconstructive archaeology groups, and I’ve been doing my own research too.

I was especially excited about visiting the museum because I haven’t been to Stoke in a while, and I know it has a bit of a reputation, but I’m actually really proud of where I’m from, and the museum did not disappoint me at all. In fact, it exceeded my expectations, both in the permanent gallery spaces, the new exhibitions, and the talk itself.

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The Wolverhampton Archives

To finish the amazing Heritage Week tour at Wolverhampton, I was lucky enough to view the Wolverhampton Archives which are housed at the beautiful Molineux Hotel, a building steeped in its own grand history. The tour was delivered by Heidi McIntosh, the City Archivist.

The Molineux Hotel, home to the Wolverhampton Archives

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Gallery Tour

Continuing with the Heritage Week, I’ve been on a fantastic tour around Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and it was purely by chance that I managed to do it. Initially I heard that I had to book to join it, but when I rang I couldn’t get hold of anyone. So, when I went to Wolverhampton I thought I would pop into the gallery to have a nose around the exhibitions, but- to my delight- the lovely staff allowed me to tag along when I asked about the tour. So a big thank you to the gallery for letting me do the tour!

I have taken some photographs of the some of the exhibitions at the gallery so you can see how amazing it is inside. They have a fantastic collection of Victorian and Georgian art, as well as a great exhibition on Harry Eccleston, the artist who famously designed bank notes. I shall be detailing more about their collections later.

Eccleston Gallery

Eccleston Gallery

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Beatties House of Fraser- The Heritage Room

Bit of retail history explored today for the Wolverhampton Heritage Week. I decided to go to an unusual place as I always seem to gravitate towards museums, galleries and archives. Well, in the House of Fraser store, formerly known as Beatties, they have held an exhibition room inside.


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Wolverhampton Heritage Open Days

Busy busy busy! I thought it would be a great idea to check out some of the Wolverhampton events, tours and exhibitions happening in the city today. I had a fantastic time, although driving to the city was the scariest experience I’ve had in my car so far- roads of death! I managed to park in the multi-storey right in the centre, then I fumbled my way from the darkness of the underground into the light, emerging right outside the first place on my list to visit. So it all worked out well in the end.

Saint Peter’s Collegiate Church

So, the first place I visited was St. Peter’s Church, a Grade I listed building, which is right in the centre of the city. It is a mix of Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles in red sandstone.

St. Peter's Church

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Tour of the archaeology site

This evening I was invited to a tour of the archaeology site I have been working at, led by one of the lead archaeologists. Even though I work there, it was good to get a review of everything that has been discovered in the previous years that I haven’t been there. It also gave me a chance to hear about new developments, including the opening of a new trench on site, which I will hopefully be involved with this weekend!

As well as reviewing all the trenches I listened to the history of the site, which will be presented in a written report and available to read soon. What I didn’t realise till visiting tonight, was just how big Shakespeare’s final house was. Because of what has been discovered through uncovering foundations, New Place was connected to Nash House during the 1530s. In the courtyard they have found evidence of a water source which may well have been shared between the two buildings.

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