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Published June 11th 2020
Find out about our Anglo Saxon past as part of new display
A new interactive gallery about life in Anglo-Saxon times is getting ready to open at Tamworth Castle in Staffordshire once coronavirus restrictions allow. Building transformation works are now complete on the top floor of the medieval castle for the exciting new 'Battle and Tribute' exhibition. The work has included upgrading the ancient infrastructure, installing a new ceiling and lighting, as well as conservation repairs to walls and windows. Funded in large part by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the new £768,050 'Battle and Tribute' display will turn the space into an interactive exhibition bringing Tamworth's dramatic and exciting Anglo-Saxon history to life. This will include the creation of a mead hall, an immersive combat film experience and a unique touch-table battle strategy game. The interpretation elements of the exhibition will be completed subject to Covid-19 restrictions and guideline changes.
A significant part of the new exhibition will be the creation of an immersive combat film for visitors to understand something of what it took to be an Anglo Saxon warrior. However, filming is being delayed due to the Covid-19 restrictions which prevent the re-enactment groups from gathering to film the footage required. The 3D design of the exhibition includes developing some elements of an archaeological excavation, plus wood panelling and carvings for the mead hall. As part of the exhibition, Tamworth Castle will receive even more pieces of the Anglo Saxon Staffordshire Hoard to display, alongside items from the castle's collection. It will explore many exciting aspects of the Staffordshire Hoard including themes of battle, Kingship and the warrior culture in Anglo-Saxon Mercia. 'Battle and Tribute' has been made possible thanks to £499,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with the remainder of the cost being provided by Tamworth Borough Council, the Ready to Borrow Scheme supported by the Arts Council England and Friends of Tamworth Castle. Local youngsters contributed to the project by creating shields which will be displayed around the perimeter of the castle for the exhibition launch.
Councillor Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, said: "It's been a challenging few months with the recent restrictions on working and lockdown constraints. However, the plans for the state-of-the-art Battle and Tribute gallery are very impressive and unlike anything we've had at the castle before. As part of sharing our historical Tamworth story, it will really bring our rich Anglo-Saxon history to life, including the role of our famous warrior queen Aethelflaed. This will also add context and be the perfect showcase for an increased number of items from the Staffordshire Hoard, displaying how this incredible treasure trove fits into the wider history of the Kingdom of Mercia and beyond. We look forward to its completion and to opening this exciting exhibition to visitors safely when Covid-19 restrictions allow."