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Discover buried treasure at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Published: 26 February 2019

Ancient jewellery, coins and other historic treasures from rediscovered hoards are set to go on display at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

‘Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain’ opens at our only museum on Saturday 13 April 2019 and runs until Sunday 16 June 2019.

It’s an opportunity for museum visitors to see precious artefacts from the British Museum and Salisbury Museum in a glittering display. They will also be able to see the local hoards displayed in Buxton Museum’s own new galleries, plus hoards from museums in Sheffield and Derby.

The museum, in Terrace Road, Buxton is the most northerly venue for this roaming exhibition of coins, jewellery, silver and other treasure, and the only venue in the north and Midlands.  

‘Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain’ traces the story of hoarding from Bronze Age weapons discovered in the river Thames and the first Iron Age coin hoards, through to hoards buried after the collapse of Roman rule in Britain and in more recent times. It includes the spectacular Ipswich Iron Age gold torcs and recent prehistoric and Roman finds from Wessex.

Through these objects of national and international significance, visitors will be able to consider why people put precious objects into the ground and why they did not retrieve them.

Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis, said:

“We’re delighted that these important artefacts are going to be displayed the council’s only museum. The items offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and explore why people buried their treasure but never returned to reclaim it.

“We are proud to be working with the British Museum, Salisbury Museum and museums in Derby and Sheffield. Being chosen to host this exhibition only serves to show how well-regarded Buxton Museum is nationally.”

The exhibition also highlights the importance of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in the recovery of archaeological treasure artefacts.

Adrian Green, director of Salisbury Museum said:

“This national scheme is run by the British Museum to encourage the recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public. The information recorded about finds from across Britain has transformed our knowledge of the past and helped make exhibitions like this possible.”

The Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire will be at Buxton Museum during the exhibition.

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Buxton Museum, and are thrilled that visitors to the Peak District will have the chance to see the amazing treasures and stories explored in Hoards. This exhibition, organised in partnership with Salisbury Museum, demonstrates the British Museum’s commitment to engage people of all ages throughout the whole of the United Kingdom with archaeology, ancient history and the spectacular objects in our collections. We are particularly pleased that in Buxton there will also be the opportunity to link these objects to the Wonders of the Peak Gallery and to the natural environment.”

With support from The National Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, Buxton Museum will host a series of arts and crafts activities such as making piggy banks and purses and school visits that will enable children to visit the exhibition and learn more about their heritage.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said:

“It’s fantastic that so many more people will have the opportunity to see these historical treasures as this exhibition tours the country this year. This National Lottery investment belongs to the whole community, and we want as many people as possible to benefit from it – from Buxton and beyond.

“I am sure that the stories behind these ancient hoards will continue to fascinate, educate and inspire people across England and we are proud to champion the role art and culture play in bringing history to life.”

‘Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain’ is a British Museum and Salisbury Museum partnership exhibition made possible with the support of the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M. Weinrebe.

Admission to Buxton Museum is free and donations are welcome.

Find opening hours and more information about the programme of associated activities at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

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