HLF's 100th Norwich Grant Secures Roman Hoard For Castle Museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 10 December 2007
a photograph of various archaeological finds including sun figures, a deity and various fastenings

There are some striking objects in the hoard. © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

A collection made up of more than 250 objects including ancient pewter vessels and jewellery, as well as more than 2,000 Roman coins, has been secured for Norwich Castle thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) 100th grant in the city.

The £26,800 award to the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service will help the Museum to acquire the coins, artefacts and hoard of pewter vessels unearthed at a temple site in Hockwold, south-west Norfolk.

The items were recovered by a metal detectorist brought in by archaeologists to find the valuable pieces after looters had been scouring the site. The collection he unearthed forms one of the most comprehensive collections from any Roman temple site known in the UK and the grant will allow it to be presented and displayed to the public for the very first time.

a metal object with a persons gface motif in the centre

Experts are hailing the find as a great example of good work between archaeologists and metal detectorists. © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

“We are delighted to have secured this important collection of Roman items for Norwich Castle, with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of the Norwich Museums,” said Tim Pestell, Norwich Castle’s Curator of Archaeology.

“The finds provide a fascinating window onto life in Roman Norfolk and this grant will ensure the entire collection can be kept together for future generations to enjoy and study. The collection also shows how the responsible use of metal detectors by members of the public can, when working with archaeologists, transform knowledge of our past.”

The items will be displayed in the ‘Boudica’ Iron Age and Roman Gallery at Norwich Castle and a new website will be created so everyone can learn more about this rich heritage. A programme of activities will also be created for local people to learn about how these artefacts fit into the county’s wider history.

a photograph of an archaeological artefact in the shape of a man with horns and holding a trident

The finds provide a fascinating window into life in Roman Norfolk. © Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Norfolk’s Roman past has very proved very popular with local people, as demonstrated through Norwich Castle’s ‘Boudica on Tour’ education programme last year, whilst Roman destinations in Norfolk such as Burgh Castle and Caistor are amongst the county’s most popular archaeological attractions.

“I am thrilled to see this fantastic project awarded as the 100th grant for Norwich,” said Robyn Llewellyn, the HLF’s Regional Manager for the East of England. “It is an exciting scheme that will offer everyone the chance to get close to locally found Roman artefacts in Norfolk’s most popular museum.”

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