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saxon with gold display
A Saxon Warrior with pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard when the Hoard Trail exhibition displayed at Staffordshire Place.

Staffordshire Hoard Exhibition to visit Stafford’s Ancient High House

People interested in the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard can now relive the story at a unique exhibition at the Ancient High House in Stafford

‘Treasure – Discovering the Staffordshire Hoard’ was developed by Staffordshire County Council’s museums team and will be at the museum from 5 July to 10 September 2016.

Featuring high quality replicas of some of the treasure, video footage, and interactive displays, the exhibition will retell the story of the world’s largest ever discovery of Anglo-Saxon treasure. Visitors can try their hand at detecting for treasure, cleaning a piece of the hoard, or simply dressing up like an Anglo-Saxon would have done in the 7th century.

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for the arts at Staffordshire County Council said:

This is a wonderful exhibition, taking the story of the Staffordshire Hoard out to local communities right across the region.

The discovery of the Hoard back in 2009 is an amazing story and the exhibition, now on its last leg of the tour, has been incredibly popular. There’s something for everyone and it’s a great way to find out more about Staffordshire’s history and the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council, said:

We’re delighted to be hosting this exhibition in the Ancient High House, which is an historic treasure in its own right. The story of the Staffordshire Hoard is one that inspires the imagination and this is sure to prove fascinating for visitors of all ages over the summer period.

Another exhibition, ‘Anglo Saxon Stafford: Throwing Light on the Dark Ages’ is also running at the Ancient High House from 5 July to 10 September and will explore the foundations of Stafford and the emergence of the kingdom of Mercia.

‘Treasure – Discovering the Staffordshire Hoard’ was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was launched in August 2013 and has been seen by over 100,000 visitors, including over 3,000 schoolchildren.

The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Saturday between 10am-4pm. For bank holiday opening dates call the visitor information centre on 01785 619619. Admission is free.

This is the last stop on the Staffordshire Hoard Trail tour. For more details on the exhibition visit: www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk.


Notes to Editor:

The Staffordshire Hoard

In 2009, metal detectorist Terry Herbert made an astounding discovery in a field in Hammerwich, Staffordshire: more than 3,500 objects and fragments of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver with precious stone decorations. They have been tentatively dated to the 7th or 8th centuries and are nearly all martial or warlike in character.

5,094 kilos of gold; 1,442 kilos of silver; 3,500 cloisonné garnets.  After a public appeal, it was purchased by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery for £3.285 million.  Research and conservation is now well underway, but will take years to complete.

In late 2012, the Hoard field was ploughed again and a further 81 items, including a second ‘cheek piece’ were found.

The Staffordshire Hoard Trail is being developed to link venues across Staffordshire and the West Midlands and to tell the story of the Staffordshire Hoard and the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.  The trail is based around 5 complementary exhibitions:

  • Potteries Museum & Art Gallery – discover what life was like for the Anglo-Saxons and the importance of Mercia (a new gallery is being planned).
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – looking at the craftsmanship of the Hoard makers, and exploring Mercia’s international links. In the meantime, the current exhibition looks at the discovery of the Hoard and places it in its Anglo-Saxon context.
  • Lichfield Cathedral – the display in the Chapter House features the Lichfield Angel and the St. Chad Gospels alongside a small number of pieces from the Hoard.  You can learn about the Christianisation of Mercia.
  • Tamworth Castle – focuses on the weapons and warfare of the Anglo Saxon age and Tamworth’s role as the ancient capital of Mercia.