‘Valhalla – Life and Death in Viking Britain’
Open daily until 5th June 2016
An exciting exhibition that brings together key Viking burial findings, objects that explore everyday life in Britain 1,000 years ago, and the latest archaeological research techniques is open at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery daily until 5th June 2016.
‘Valhalla – Life and Death in Viking Age Britain’ is a touring exhibition by The JORVIK Group and York Archaeological Trust.
Visitors to the exhibition are able to:
- Discover significant artefacts from excavations in York, including two Viking-age skeletons that were recently unearthed in the city.
- Learn how remains found in excavations can reveal the way Vikings commemorated and celebrated their dead using pagan boat burials, grave goods and ornately carved headstones.
- Explore evidence from York and Shropshire, including the burials of a woman and a man and objects that relate to everyday life in Viking-age Britain.
- Experience a special hands-on children’s area the world where puppetry and play encourages you to find out about Norse myths and sagas.
New pathological research conducted by York Osteoarchaeology on the two skeletons found in York tells visitors more about the person and when they were alive. Studies of wear and tear, scarring, breaks and other marks on bones, as well as dental remains, reveal information about the life they led, what sort of activities they were involved in and whether they were rich or poor.
Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at York Archaeological Trust said:
“This latest pathological research gives us clues about the lives that those people led.
“Combine this with osteological analysis, and we can tell the sex, age and height of a person, depending on how much of the skeleton was preserved in the ground. The research can also give us clues as to how that person may have died – whether from disease, injury or from natural causes.
“Looking at this evidence, alongside artefacts found throughout the British Isles, helps tell a more accurate story of Viking Britain and our Viking ancestry.”
As well as examining aspects of life in Viking-Age Shropshire the exhibition includes an interactive area for young visitors who can discover the sagas and tales of the Viking Gods as well as being able to write their name in runes and create their own Viking God.
And the learning team at Shropshire Council’s museums service will be offering a schools’ workshop session to help children explore Shropshire’s Viking history. This hands-on artefact enquiry session, involving costume and role-play, will help children to discover who the raiders were, why they came, how they fought and what they believed.
Open Mon – Sat until 5th June 2016. 10am to 5pm (Sundays 11am to 4pm, last admission 3pm)
Treasures: The Literature and Landscape of Mary Webb’s Shropshire
Open daily until 5th June 2016
An exhibition celebrating Mary Webb’s writing, with pictures and photographs illustrating the natural beauty of her home county. Shrewsbury Museum’s writer in residence, Lisa Blower, will be drawing inspiration from the exhibition for her second novel and share her practice through live writing, workshops and readings. 2016 is the centenary of the publication of Mary Webb’s book ‘The Golden Arrow’.
From March 14th – June 12th 2016, Lisa will be drawing inspiration from the Mary Webb Society’s exhibition, ‘Treasures: The Literature and Landscape of Mary Webb’s Shropshire,’ to create a contemporary reimagining of Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth. She will be writing live on The Gallery every Tuesday and Thursday 10am-3pm.
To accompany the exhibition Treasures: The Literature and Landscape of Mary Webb’s Shropshire, the Mary Webb Society have devised the following programme:
Saturday 21 May, 11am-3pm, Family Craft Activity: Telling the Bees
The characters in Mary’s novel often go to tell the bees when something special happens. Make your own bee inspired pin brooch.
Exhibition ‘The Big House – The History of Shelton Hospital’ until 24th July 2016
The history of Shelton Hospital on the outskirts of Shrewsbury at Bicton Heath will be told in an exhibition continuing until 24th July. The exhibition displays photographs, documents and artefacts gathered during the Shelton Hospital Heritage Project, which was funded by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Trust and led by its Arts for Health Department. The exhibition is supported by Shropshire Homes, which is redeveloping the Shelton Hospital into houses and apartments.
Custom built and opened in 1845, Shelton Hospital treated over 1,000 patients at its height. Behind the asylum walls the hospital was a self-sufficient community, with its own cricket and football sides, a band, a farm and even a brewery.
In September 2012 the hospital closed and its role has been taken over by a new mental health village built nearby. The Grade II listed building is now being converted into housing by Shropshire Homes.
This exhibition brings together some of the archival material, artefacts and memories collected as part of a heritage project during the hospital’s final days which aimed to record the long history of the site.
Shelton Hospital Heritage Project Officer and local historian Dave Reeves says “There are a lot of local people whose lives this place has touched. The idea of this project is to humanise the statistics you always get and to get the human stories that go behind those statistics.”
Emma-Kate Lanyon, Curator of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery says “Locally, Shelton Hopsital was known as ‘The Big House’ and was one of the major Victorian institutions in the town. Like Shrewsbury Prison, which closed just six months after Shelton, these buildings were a home and workplace to many people. Part of our role as a museum is to commemorate the major part they have played in the history of our County Town.”
Howard Thorne, Managing Director of Shropshire Homes said, “I am delighted that Shropshire Homes is involved with supporting this exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. The redevelopment of the site is an exciting venture for us and means that the former Hospital will have valuable new use.”
Cabinet Member for Museums at Shropshire Council Cllr Stuart West said, “The Community Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery was designed for just this type of exhibition; about a place that impacted on many people in its life but was largely unknown by most of the local population. Dan Reeves and his team are to be congratulated on gathering together so many interesting artefacts and memories.”
The exhibition will be open in The Community Gallery, part of The Shropshire Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. Open until Sunday 24th July. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 11am to 4pm, last admission 3pm.
The Shelton Hospital Heritage Project was funded by
The exhibition is supported by