Lowestoft Museum’s new display shows the town’s Anglo-Saxon history
PUBLISHED: 16:06 17 June 2014 | UPDATED: 08:44 18 June 2014
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A new archaeological display featuring discoveries from an Anglo-Saxon settlement and cemetery has been unveiled.
The Past Underfoot Exhibition was officially opened at Lowestoft Museum on Saturday – with the finds from a dig at Bloodmoor Hill in Carlton Colville shown to the public for the first time.
Among the items featuring in the museum’s new exhibition are hair combs, whalebone chopping boards, slip-knot rings and glass beads, with the evidence unearthed from the dig – carried out in 2000 – providing an insight into everyday life in an Anglo-Saxon settlement.
Archaeologists working at the dig at Carlton Colville found more than 40 buildings and a small cemetery of 26 graves from the sixth to eighth centuries.
They also discovered evidence of some of the earliest Christian converts in the country.
The exhibition has been made possible by a £17,000 grant, which was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund last September.
And on Saturday – at the grand unveiling – there was applause as Mayor of Lowestoft, Roger Bellham, cut the ribbon to reveal the displays in the new cabinets and open the exhibition.
Mr Bellham said: “Lowestoft is stacked with history and I am really pleased to officially open this exhibition at this wonderful museum.”
The artefacts on display have been loaned out by the Suffolk County Council’s museum service and Ray Collins, honorary curator at Lowestoft Museum, was delighted.
He said: “This is a big occasion for the museum – the project had a number of firsts for us. It has involved working together with the Suffolk County Council museum service, the Archaeology Services and Colchester and Ipswich Museum – and also getting the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“It has been done in a short time-frame and has the aim to get local artefacts from storage and displayed to the public.
“This project is the pilot for what we hope is a continuing arrangement.”
Lowestoft Museum is housed inside Broad House, a Grade II listed building dating from 1685, which is situated within the grounds of Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad.
The museum was opened in 1985 by the Queen.
Mr Collins added: “The Bloodmoor Anglo-Saxon is very significant in our knowledge gained of this period and extensive site work and study have been done.
“This exhibition is the story from the site, and I think it tells that story. Our purpose is to get that story to the general public and also hopefully stir up interest in children.”
Jess Tipper, county archeologist, who took part in the excavation and study at Bloodmoor Hill, said: “This is absolutely fantastic achievement really and it’s great to be able to work in partnership with the local museum. This is a really good local museum,
“We’re delighted to have the important finds from this site on display here and hopefully we can use this as a showpiece for what can be achieved in the rest of the county.
“The finds are on a par with some of the items from Sutton Hoo,” Dr Tipper added.
• Lowestoft museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open every day between 1pm and 4pm until the end of October. Admission is free.
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