Rare Anglo Saxon figurine loaned to town from British Museum
PUBLISHED: 11:06 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 July 2015
This tiny figurine, just a few centimetres long, has been part of a national collection at the British Museum since it was discovered more than a decade ago.
But now it has finally come home to the place it was found, thanks to months of work by the Lowestoft Museum in Nicholas Everitt Park.
The rare and valuable silver gilt piece, no thicker than a pencil, dates from Anglo Saxon times and would have been worn around the neck as an amulet. And until October, it will take pride of place in the museum’s collection - something which might never have happened.
It was found just after the excavations were completed at Bloodmoor Hill by Adrian Charlton, who discovered it among a pile of topsoil that was ready to be discarded.
After being declared a treasure trove, it was sent for valuation and bought by the British Museum in London, which housed it with other items from the Anglo Saxon period and sent it for conservation.
Paul Durbidge, from Lowestoft Museum, said: “I was in a discussion with one of the curators about 10 years ago in the British Museum and I said how nice it would be if it could ever come to Lowestoft. She said if we could satisfy the security needs, it might be possible.”
Museum volunteer Rodney Duerden has been liaising with the British Museum to secure the figurine’s loan, and said: “I think to me, it’s part of the heritage of the area.”
The ‘little man’, as it is affectionately known in the museum, is in a case with other Anglo Saxon items found during the excavations at Bloodmoor Hill.
The pagan figure dates back to the seventh century, at a time when Christianity was beginning to spread, making it very rare.
Mr Durbidge said: “I never thought I would see the day it would come to the museum. It’s fantastic.”
The museum is open every day from 1pm to 4pm.
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