Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Staffordshire Hoard Exhibition

We decided to visit the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition yesterday morning. I had an early appointment in the city centre so, after a warm cup of coffee we wandered down towards the museum to see how long the queue was.

On the way down Piccadilly and past the Regent Theatre we came across these lovely posters decorating some empty shop windows.

The queue was as far back as the end of the Museum building so we joined it at about 9.55a.m. It was a very cold morning and I was glad I'd put on an extra pair of socks and wound a huge scarf around my neck to keep out the cold.

The Museum opened its doors at 10 o'clock and the queue moved forward slowly but surely. It wasn't long before we were inside the building. Everything was very well organised with people snaking around the foyer and around the back of the shop. There were plenty of museum volunteers on duty to help and advise.

Just into the foyer you receive your first hand stamp of the visit (you have to collect three on your way round) we moved up the stairs and into part of the pottery and ceramics gallery. Here we had our second hand stamp. It was getting quite warm now and I began to regret my heavy coat and scarf - if you are going to visit you will wait inside for longer than you do outside which is good in this weather but you may not want to be encumbered by heavy clothing once inside as it is very warm. There are seats dotted around for the full length of the queue so you can sit for a while if standing becomes too much. We continued to snake around the doll and costume collection and then suddenly we received our last stamp and were allowed to move forward into the art gallery where the exhibition had been displayed.

The pieces themselves are stunning but so tiny and delicate much smaller than you would imagine from all the wonderful photographs on the posters and hoardings. To give you some idea of scale the horse to the right of the first photo at the top is no more than an inch high and the chequered boss as small as a shirt button; the workmanship in such small pieces is exquisite - the only thing I can think to say is that it would be like looking at an exhibition of portrait miniatures instead of normal size paintings.

I'm so glad I went to see the exhibition - it was such a thrill to see it; all the visitors were happy and patient and the staff thoroughly enjoyed chatting to them and making them welcome. In all the visit took about two hours. After making a donation and buying a souvenir booklet we made our way downstairs to the cafe for another coffee, stopping to look at another temporary exhibition on the way. This exhibition was about the history of the - Bethesda Chapel - which stands opposite the museum and reached the final, although it didn't win, of the first BBC 'Restoration' programme in 2003.


  1. "See the Dark Ages in a new light", that's a lovely slogan!
    Putting stamps on people's hands sounds a bit unfair, wouldn't be better to give them a ticket?!

  2. It looks like such a fascinating exhibition Rosie and right on your doorstep too. What a surprise that some of the artefacts were so tiny!

  3. I've seen bits and pieces from the hoard on tv but would love to see it in reality. It sounds like you had a nice day and that it was worth all the queuing!

  4. I would love to see this exhibition, however I do believe that it should stay in Staffordshire, perhaps with the BM borrowing it for a special exhibition (remembering to give it back of course, unlike the Elgin marbles!)
    It sounds like you had a good day despite the queueing!

    Just read your previous post. What a thrill that An Education won a couple of BAFTA's - I really enjoyed the film, although I haven't read the book yet.

    Jeanne x

  5. I,d love to see this - I'll have to look into a trip!! I bet it is amazing. xxx

  6. How exciting to have actually seen all these wonderful things. I can't get there unfortunately but may try and get to the British Museum later this year.

  7. You do take us to some fascinating places :o) ThankYou so much for all you share xxx


  8. I have always wanted to see this exhibit. Thanks for the overview.

  9. Rosie, don't forget to bring the booklet with you when you come to see us. What a treat it must have been.

  10. It does sound like the exhibition is very well organised. I so wish more towns would take up the idea of posters in empty shop windows, a simple idea which goes a long way in improving the look of an area. I really enjoyed all the series of Restoration, and wish they would commission another one. x

  11. Now I really must get over to see this, I have heard how popular this has been which will be a good boost to the museum I hope.