The Potteries museum and art gallery has scooped a £40,000 heritage grant to stage its largest ever exhibition on the world’s biggest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver.
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in Stoke-on-Trent, has won the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The grant will fund a grandstand exhibition on the Staffordshire Hoard from next July.
Councillor Mark Meredith, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for economic development, said: “This is fabulous news, and the funding is down to the hard work of officers who put a very detailed bid together to the HLF.
“The money will be used to put on our largest ever exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard, and to create a spectacular setting and display for this unparalleled treasure.
“We are thrilled that the HLF have supported this project. We will use the grant to mount a world-class exhibition, to attract tourists to the city and really do justice to these incredible ancient artefacts. The hoard has tremendous economic opportunities for the city and the surrounding area, and we want to ensure these opportunities are fully maximised.”
The funding will be used to create a gallery that will show the hoard in the context of the wider Anglo-Saxon period, explain the history of Saxon Mercia, and use replicas and reconstructions to tell the story of the treasure. Since the hoard was discovered in July 2009, more than 500,000 people have seen the treasure, on display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and at a regional tour in Lichfield, Stafford and Tamworth.
The ancient gold is owned jointly by The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and permanent exhibitions of the treasure are on display at both museums. The hoard comprised some 3,500 artefacts, mostly of gold and silver articles of war that date back to the seventh century. The treasure was found by a metal detector enthusiast in a farmer’s field in south Staffordshire.
Around 100 of the artefacts will go on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. at the end of this month. Displays in Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham will continue during the United States exhibition.