‘Rare chance’ to see historic treasures at Buxton Museum & Art Gallery

Museum manager Ros Westwood MBE with the golden torcs.
Museum manager Ros Westwood MBE with the golden torcs.

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a collection of historic treasures from rediscovered buried hoards - including ancient jewellery and coins from the British and Salisbury museums.

The exhibition 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.

A heavy golden torc

A heavy golden torc

Among the dazzling displays are the spectacular Ipswich Iron Age gold torcs alongside prehistoric and Roman finds from Wessex - objects of national and international significance,

Displays bring to life the stories of those who buried the objects - explaining why they were buried and never retrieved.

Derbyshire Museums Manager Ros Westwood MBE said the free entry exhibition - which runs until June 16 - is a ‘rare chace’ to see gold and silver which usually belongs in the British Museum.

She said: “It’s brilliant having this stuff here.

A hoard of roman coins

A hoard of roman coins

“The collections we have in Buxton are spectacular already but for the British Museum to think we’re good enough to have their stuff is a huge tick of the boxes.”

Ros said ‘world standard’ exhibits included the Ipswich Torcs - Iron Age gold neck bands dating from 150 BC - 50 BC which were produced in Britain before the Roman occupation.

Another hoard features a collection of ‘low value’ coins made from the melted down clipped edges of genuine coins - a hangable offence at the time - buried at a vicarage near Derby by their creator in an attempt to escape detection.

Ros said the displays helped tell the stories behind hoards, adding: “Objects were sometimes buried for ritual purposes or sometimes because it’s a time of unrest and they want to make sure their objects are safe.

Pupils from Peak Dale School were the first visitors to the exhibition

Pupils from Peak Dale School were the first visitors to the exhibition

“They buried them for all sort of reasons and probably didn’t retrieve them because they died or the objects were lost - imagine someone sitting under a tree and their purse falling out of a pocket.”

As well as the exhibits there will be a programme of arts and crafts such as making piggy banks and purses.

The Terrace Road museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and on Sunday and bank holidays from noon to 4pm.