Hot on the heels of the news that the latest artefacts from the Staffordshire Hoard have been valued at almost £60,000, people are being reminded that rare items of the Hoard can be seen at Tamworth Castle.
More than 20 recently conserved items are on show in brand new display cases at the castle. As well as the Hoard exhibition, new interpretation boards, replica items and interactive displays explain the weapons and warfare of Saxon Mercia – and Tamworth’s importance as its ancient capital.
The exhibition aims to give a unique insight into the find, while aiming to unravel the mysteries surrounding the story of the Staffordshire Hoard.
Last week, the Treasure Valuation Committee, a panel of independent experts, examined the 81 pieces of the Hoard found last November. These pieces were found in the same field as the initial 3,500-piece collection.
As well as the Staffordshire Hoard, a major highlight of a visit to Tamworth Castle is its new displays, part of the £1.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund project. Visitors can see the new displays in the castle grounds and the courtyard and experience the new armoury.
The three-week Staffordshire Hoard exhibition in 2011 saw 14,000 people visit Tamworth Castle to see the 40 star items. This included the folded cross, pectoral cross, the sea-horse, sword pommels and helmet fragments.
The castle also has stunning new replica items, which will shed more light on how original Saxon weapons were made and used. Visitors of all ages can try their hand at writing with runes and dressing up in period costumes.
Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economic Development, said, “The discovery of more pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard at the end of last year was yet another exciting chapter in its fascinating story. We currently have a number of pieces of the Hoard on display at Tamworth Castle, which we hope will help to reveal how important the find was and in time, reveal some of its history, while showcasing how important Tamworth to 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.
The largest exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard is on display at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has received a £700,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help build a gallery specifically to house an exhibition of the treasure. Both museums have permanent displays of the original artefacts.