There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of Leicester and Leicestershire. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?
Many Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at museums around the county (see the links that accompany the descriptions below).
Charnwood museum has a general display of archaeology including the Cossington Bronze Age Barrows and Bronze Age tools such as The Rothley hoard (LEIC-A6BB51). Also on display are Iron Age chariot fittings and coins, Roman glass and metalwork and Anglo-Saxon cemetery finds. The museum has a display of Treasure items, for example, garnet pendants and the Earl Shilton Gold pommel (LEIC-62B043). Last, but not least, is the Viking silver Thor’s hammer from Thurcaston (LEIC-185125).
Melton Carnegie museum has a newly re-displayed archaeology section including the remarkable Bronze Age Welby Hoard, many finds from the Roman town at Goadby Marwood and various coin hoards. The Anglo-Saxon treasures on display include gilded brooches, gold bracteate pendants (LEIC-1E63A8 and LEIC-EDD980), finger rings and cremation urns. There are also assorted Viking Age objects to see, which reflect the Viking impact on the area, and medieval and post-medieval personal objects including finger-rings and cuff-links.
Harborough Museum is home to the spectacular Iron Age Hallaton Treasure and Roman cavalry helmet. The museum also houses objects which reflect the area’s rich past, including the rare Late Neolithic gold beaker basket ornaments (LEIC-448088). Also on display are the Iron Age gold coin hoard (LEIC-114E78) from Peatling Magna, a Roman TOT finger ring, finds from Roman towns in the area, Anglo-Saxon brooches and local finds from prehistory up to the seventeenth century.
Bosworth Battlefield Centre tells the dramatic story of the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485, a major turning point in English history. Discover more about the Battle of 1485 where Richard III lost his life, and Henry Tudor became king! Find out how archaeologists discovered the true location of the battle and see some of the unique objects that were unearthed, including the striking silver Bosworth Boar Badge (LEIC-A6C834).
The spectacular standing wall of the Roman bath house provides a backdrop to the museum which displays many fine Roman mosaics. Other displays help you explore the people of Leicester and Leicestershire from prehistoric times to the Anglo-Saxon period.
The Guildhall in Leicester houses new displays illustrating life in the medieval city to complement the impressive 600-year-old timber-framed Guildhall, right next to the Cathedral.
Societies & Organisations
The Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, known to its members as the ‘Arch Soc’, was founded back in 1855 ‘to promote the study of the history, archaeology, antiquities and architecture of Leicestershire’. The Society does the same today, making use of twenty-first century technologies as well as the traditional forms of research. They also support local research by offering grants, as well as access to their fantastic library at the Guildhall in Leicester and their expanding online collection of resource material.
Members receive several printed works every year. These are the Transactions, the Leicestershire Historian, and two issues of their Magazine. The Society publishes many books, organises a full season of fascinating talks, goes on outings, has dinners, and arranges exclusive visits. The Society’s lively Networks Project connects the many history and heritage groups in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Find out more about the Society’s events, activities and publications at www.lahs.org.uk.
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) East Midlands is an umbrella organisation for archaeology groups across the East Midlands. They organise conferences, events and guided tours across the region. See the CBA East Midlands website: www.archaeologyuk.org/cbaem