New Staffordshire Hoard Gallery at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Principally funded by a £750,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a permanent home for the Staffordshire Hoard in the West Midlands, the new gallery will enable visitors to learn more about this incredible treasure, from its Anglo-Saxon warrior history, to the ongoing conservation techniques used to unlock its secrets today.
Hundreds of pieces from the Hoard will be on show, along with hands-on displays exploring how these intriguing items were used, before they were buried some 1,400 years ago. Visitors can find out about the exquisite craftsmanship used to create the items in the hoard, and learn how the designs of the objects can be linked to many regions across Europe.
The Staffordshire Hoard was discovered near the village of Hammerwich (Staffordshire) in 2009 by local metal detectorist Terry Herbert, with further items excavated by archaeologists in 2012. It remains Britain’s largest Treasure case, and one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds ever made, consisting of gold, silver and garnet decorative fittings dating to the 7th century AD. Many of the pieces come from swords and other weaponry, but there are also several Christian items, as well as ‘mystery’ objects, which continue to intrigue experts and visitors alike.
Younger visitors can get to grips with microscopes and see some of the unusual tools that a conservator uses while working with these precious objects. In addition, visitors can peek into Anglo-Saxon England in the ‘Mead Hall’ showing how a 7th-century Lord and his warriors once lived. Through traditional games, dressing up and story telling, young visitors will get a true feel of what it was like to live in this war-like time.
Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums, comments: “The Staffordshire Hoard is one of Birmingham’s most popular collections, and this new gallery will give visitors an even greater access to this unique find. Last year alone, over 100K people from across the world came to see the Hoard at the museum, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in years to come.”
Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “We have been delighted to support the Birmingham Museums Trust with a £750,000 grant, in its quest to create a new permanent gallery for Britain’s largest Anglo-Saxon treasure trove found to date. We are now able to see hundreds of items from this magnificent hoard on display here in the West Midlands where it was found, thanks to Lottery players and huge support from the local community and beyond.”
The Staffordshire Hoard is jointly owned by Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. It was acquired in 2010 by the Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (PM&AG) with the generous support of the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as public donations. Development of the new gallery has been made possible thanks to funding by Heritage Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston and Arts Council England. Birmingham Museums Trust is continuously fundraising for the conservation of and research into this unique find. To support the Staffordshire Hoard, you can call the Development department on 0121 348 8293, or visit Staffordshire Hoard Appeal Justgiving page or texting STAF09 £5 to 70070.
To find out more visit the Staffordshire hoard website.
Notes to editors
Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection to provide a wide range of experiences, events and activities that deliver learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city.
The establishment of Birmingham Museums Trust means that visitors to all venues can take advantage of even more educational and entertaining events and activities, ranging from arts and crafts to history and culture from around the world. Further information can be obtained at the Birmingham Museums Trust website.
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. More information can be found at the Arts Council website.
The Mercian Trail Partnership brings together Birmingham Museums Trust, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield District Council, Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council. The aim of the partnership is to tell the emerging story of the Staffordshire Hoard and the Anglo-Saxon history of the region, through a series of informative permanent and temporary displays and a programme of outreach activities aimed at residents and visitors alike.
The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art, helping museums to buy and show great art. Over the past 5 years we’ve given £26m to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections, and placed hundreds of gifts and bequests, from ancient sculpture and treasure hoards to Old Master paintings and contemporary commissions. We are independently funded, the majority of our income coming from over 100,000 members who, through the National Art Pass, enjoy free entry to over 220 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. Find out more about the Art Fund and the National Art Pass at the Art Fund website. Please contact Madeline Adeane, Press Relations Manager, on 020 7225 4804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The launch of the new Staffordshire Hoard gallery is kindly sponsored by History West Midlands. History West Midlands explores the rich and fascinating past of the historic counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. We uncover the history of the people, ideas and events that shaped the West Midlands and the world beyond through the West Midlands History website, films, a magazine, tours and events.