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Staffordshire Hoard tour to visit Lichfield Cathedral

Items from the world’s largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold, discovered close to Hammerwich near Lichfield, are set to go on display at Lichfield Cathedral.

The visit is part of a tour of Staffordshire which will also take in Stafford’s Shire Hall and Tamworth Castle between July and September this year. Featured in the exhibition will be more than forty star items including the pectoral cross, the biblical inscription and the seahorse.

Teams from Lichfield, Stafford and Tamworth are working with those from Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent to finalise the meticulous security arrangements, develop 3D models and create attractive displays that will explain the new discoveries being uncovered by the work to conserve and research the Hoard.

Speaking on behalf of the Staffordshire Hoard Partnership, Councillor Hazel Lyth, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, explains:

The temporary exhibition will take visitors on a voyage of Anglo Saxon discovery – from unearthing the story of the hoard from the archaeologist’s eye in Stafford, through to exploring the hoard’s links to early Christendom, the Lichfield Angel and the priceless St Chad Gospels at Lichfield Cathedral. In Tamworth, visitors will uncover more about the ancient seat of Mercia, the kingdom’s bloody battles, and colourful cast of characters.

Often with finds of this importance it takes years before they go on public display, so it’s just wonderful that we are able to tour pieces from the hoard around the region, so soon after it was discovered. The tour will be a fantastic way to say thank you to the thousands of local people who gave so generously to help Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke on Trent, acquire this exquisite treasure for the nation.

The Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Canon Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral, said:

We’re delighted to be working alongside our colleagues at Birmingham and Stoke to help bring the temporary touring exhibition to life. In Lichfield, visitors will get the chance to learn more about the links between the hoard and the cathedral’s existing priceless treasures, including the St Chad Gospels and the Lichfield Angel. The exhibition will also describe more about the politics of the time and the region’s transition from Paganism to Christianity.

Councillor Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Culture, said:

We want to make it easy for as many people as possible to come along and see the hoard, which represents one of the most exciting moments of our county and region’s history. Residents across Staffordshire were such enthusiastic supporters of the fundraising campaign to save the hoard, and the touring exhibition is a perfect way to say thank you to everyone who gave so generously. It is also a great way to give people a taste of the more permanent Mercian Trail that we hope to create across Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Stoke and Birmingham.

Councillor Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:

It is amazing how much support the public has shown over the past 12 months since the discovery of the hoard, just a few miles outside our historic town. As the ancient capital of Mercia, I am delighted Tamworth will be included in the touring exhibition. The displays in the castle will allow people living in and around Tamworth to see the hoard, one of the most exciting finds in recent history. It will also mean lots of people will get to find out more about Tamworth’s exciting Anglo Saxon history, and our town’s historic links to the story of the hoard.

Councillor Louise Flowith, Cabinet Member for Tourism at Lichfield District Council, added:

Without the generous donations from local people, that saw more than £900,000 raised through public donations, we might not have the chance to display the hoard across the region, so close to its original resting place in Lichfield District. Thanks to the funds raised, expert teams are now working to conserve, research and uncover the wealth of, as yet unknown, stories behind the hoard. A further £1.7 million needed to fully research and conserve the treasures, and more will be needed to display the hoard across the region. To pledge your support to the ongoing fundraising campaign, please visit www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk.

Read the back story with all 42 Staffordshire Hoard articles from The Lichfield Blog’s archive.

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