Living Paintings library member Alison Clarke sent us this report of a recent trip to Sutton Hoo. She was lucky enough to be able to try on a replica of the Sutton Hoo helmet, one of the amazing objects featured in our Touch to See Album, A History of the World in 100 Objects.
“We visited the Anglo Saxon burial site of Suton Hoo, now cared for by the National Trust. We were taken into a room where we were given replicas of tools, weapons, jewellery and coins, accompanied by a very good talk. We then had a guided tour of the museum and were able to enter a re-constructed burial chamber, complete with body and all the valuable possessions. Finally we visited Edith Pretty’s house, who was the landowner who instigated the archaeological investigations of the site in the 1930s. Here you can see me holding a replica of the Sutton Hoo helmet; the original is on display at the British Museum, along with other artefacts from the site. The helmet is very heavy and I don’t know how the Anglo Saxon warriors managed to wear it without breaking their necks! Luckily, I was able to try on a smaller version that has been made for children!”
Alison went on a tour of East Anglia with specialist tour operator Traveleyes and her group also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. They explored the museum with the assistance of audio guides and took part in an object handling session. Many museums have handling collections, often used for education sessions, and it is worth checking to see if these can also be used by visitors with visual impairment. They may be replicas, but original objects are often also available, giving you an exciting and very direct connection to the past.
Borrow A History of the World in 100 Objects from our FREE online postal library