08:00 Thursday 09 January 2014

Hoard heads to historic village

Written byROB SMYTH

A STUNNING exhibition based around a hoard of treasure is set to arrive in South Derbyshire – three years after pleas for the Anglo-Saxon haul to be showcased in the area fell on deaf ears.

Delight greeted the news that St Wystan’s Church, in Repton, will play host to the Staffordshire Hoard Mercian Trail Touring Exhibition, organised by Staffordshire County Council, from October 6 to November 28.

This comes years after campaigners, including South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler, fought for the historic capital of Saxon kingdom Mercia to be included in a tour of the treasure.

Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for community, culture and localism at the council, said: “In 2009, metal detectorist Terry Herbert made an astounding discovery in a field in Hammerwich that put Staffordshire on a global stage.

“In the original find, more than 3,500 objects and fragments of Anglo-Saxon treasure was discovered and in late 2012, the hoard field was ploughed again and a further 81 items were uncovered.

“Not everyone has managed to delve into the story of the Staffordshire Hoard and this touring exhibition will give many more people the chance to experience the historic and wonderful discovery.

“This is our heritage and we are extremely proud of it.”

Featuring high-quality replicas of some of the treasure found and some items from the dig site itself, video footage and interactive displays, visitors can also try their hand at detecting for treasure, cleaning a piece of the hoard, or simply dressing up as an Anglo-Saxon would have done.

The hoard of more than 1,600 gold and silver items, which was painstakingly catalogued by Burton-born archaeologist Dr Kevin Leahy, was discovered in a field near Lichfield in 2009.

Repton Parish Council previously applied to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which owns part of the hoard, to be included in the hoard’s original tour in 2011.

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