Saxon half term treats in store

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Youngsters are being invited to travel back in time to Saxon times at the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds this half term.

A week of craft activities and demonstrations, living history displays, combat shows will be available along with the chance to see a longboat reconstruction.

The programme complements a special exhibition at the venue, Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard (May 27–October 2), which will showcase around 100 items from the collection alongside a very rare Anglo-Saxon helmet discovery from the Wollaston Warrior burial collection. Some of the objects have never been on show before.

Half-term activities include:

Living history re-enactors Wulheodenas who will bring early Anglo-Saxon history to life on May 29 and 30 (drop in, free).

There will also be pottery demonstrations and have-a-go sessions, 28 to 30 May 28-30, 11am and 3pm (drop in, small charge applies).

Filigree animal demonstrations and have-a-go sessions will take place on May 31-June 2, 11am-4pm (drop in, small charge applies).

Wire Jewellery making have-a-go sessions will take place from June 3–5, 11am-4pm (drop in, small charge applies).

Animals into Art workshops will enable younger artists to create their own abstract animal designs on plaques out of clay to reflect Saxon decoration as seen in the exhibition (drop in, small charge).

An authentic reproduction of a longship will be on display in the outdoor arena accompanied by storytelling and talks from the boat.

Throughout the week there will be combat demonstrations, storytelling and object handling.

Alongside the activities all visitors will be able to see the free Warrior Treasures Exhibition which features the Staffordshire Hoard considered to be one of the most outstanding Anglo-Saxon finds since the excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial in Suffolk in 1939.

The hoard was discovered in July 2009 and is made up of around 4,000 fragments weighing over 6 kg.

The secrets of the hoard are still being uncovered through painstaking research and on-going conservation, but most of the collection consists of fittings from weaponry.

The workmanship involved in the items is exquisite and helps to throw new light on a period which still holds many mysteries. The exhibition area will include a Saxon-themed mead hall which will be the base for various hands-on activities and storytelling sessions.

For adults, a talk on the Staffordshire collection by Pieta Greaves, Conservation Co-ordinator, will be on June 9.

More at www.royalarmouries.org/

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