Staffordshire hoard by candle light

Factory Night @ Staffordshire Hoard Treasure & Saxon Pilgrimage

Including an out of hours visit to the Staffordshire Hoard at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery by Candle light and then a Pilgrimage with picnic at Trentham Gardens Saxon site.

In collaboration with sculptor Andrew Edwards and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

This Factory Night started with an intimate visit to the Staffordshire hoard collection at the Potteries Museum and Art gallery. Artists enjoyed the glitter of ancient gold by atmospheric candle light led by Interpretation Officer Cathy Shingler who gave an insight into the latest findings and the secrets of the historic artefacts.  The Factory Night then turned into a Pilgrimage to Trentham Gardens led by artist and Saxon enthusiast Andrew Edwards currently exhibiting his Staffordshire Saxon at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Andy set the scene of how this landscape has changed since it was the heartland of Mercia, exploring plant life, settlements and putting the hoard into living context through motifs, symbols, stories and legends.  The aim of this Factory Night was to provide an insight into the rich history of the internationally important hoard and for artists and creative people to be involved in future research and interpretation through creative activity.

The Saxon hoard is now World Famous as the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold treasure, it was unearthed from a Staffordshire Field by a metal detectorist Terry Herbert on private farm land and comprises in excess of 1,500 individual items many decorated with precious stone. Most of the treasure appears to date from the seventh century and the supreme quality of the craftsmanship on many items indicates royal ownership. It is a legacy of craftsmen whose artistry fashioned precious metals and gemstones into incredibly detailed sword hilt fittings, helmet parts and other items. It is also the story of kings, religious men and their warriors, who carried these pieces into battle, who fell, and were later stripped of their finery.

Andy describes: “Though this period was a birth of literacy all over the world, much shared understanding was by motif, symbol and more ready familiarity with nature and respect for its symbioses and conservation. We can begin to see by extracting knowledge from the Hoard and putting it into a living context, that we have been left some essential signs to help us find our way today, toward a clearer understanding and integration of ourselves as a society and furthermore toward an integration of the things that make us.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council have jointly raised the funds to acquire the hoard and archaeologists from all over the world are working to restore the delicate treasure and uncover the many mysteries that surround the hoard.