Leeds nostalgia: Saxon week planned for May-June half term at Royal Armouries

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This half term (May 28 to June 2), the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds will be staging a week of Saxon craft activities and demonstrations, living history displays, combat shows and the chance to see a longboat reconstruction.

The programme complements a special exhibition at the Royal Armouries, Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard (May 27 to October 2), which will showcase around 100 spectacular items from the remarkable Staffordshire Hoard 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, pottery demonstrations and have-a-go sessions, filigree animal demonstrations and have-a-go sessions, wire jewellery making, enabling youngsters to create their own abstract animal designs on plaques out of clay to reflect Saxon decoration and an authentic reproduction of a longship, which will be on display in the outdoor arena accompanied by storytelling and talks from the boat.

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 6kg. 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.

More details: www.royalarmouries.org

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