Top 10 Warwickshire objects get you talking

As part of the Warwickshire Bytes Digital Festival, Heritage & Culture Warwickshire (HCW) has selected their top 10 objects from Warwickshire Museum’s collection. Throughout the month of January, they will be shared with members of the public to give their views!

There will be lots of fun digital presentations of the objects, including animations from Nick Cave, Warwickshire Bytes Project Animator. They will be shared on all HCW’s social media channels, and the public will be encouraged to share the objects with their friends and join in the discussion. In February people can then vote for their favourite, and tell us why, with the top ten order revealed on 14th February. Look out for the hashtag #LoveWarwickshireBytes

Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Heritage and Culture, said:

“I think this is a really fun way to get people engaged with some of Warwickshire’s most significant objects and hopefully get more people to visit the museum and also see our collections online. Let’s get the conversation started and get as many likes and shares as we can!”

Benjamin Earl, Web Editor for the Our Warwickshire website, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in the heritage of the county. The museum has a load of great objects, and the ability to share them with a wider audience was a chance we couldn’t turn down. Check out all our social media and Our Warwickshire, and get involved as much as you can – this heritage is your heritage!”

Top 10 list

Bubbenhall Handaxes – Dating from 500,000 BC, these handaxes were made by our human ancestors homo heidelbergensis and are some of the oldest stone tools ever found in Britain – they were excavated alongside bones of straight-toothed elephants.

Coal Miner’s Lamp – These early 20th century lamps were known as Davy lamps; the design provided safe light and a warning of harmful atmospheres for miners who worked in the collieries of North Warwickshire.

Giant Irish Deer Skeleton –Approximately 11,000 years old, this fine example of an exist Giant Irish Deer was excavated from a peat bog in the 19th century and has been one of Market Hall Museum’s most popular features. Named Oisin, he is also the twitter mascot for the museum.

Museum Bees – This is one of the country’s very few indoor observation beehives and has brought interest and enjoyment to generations of museum visitors, while promoting the importance of these vital pollinators.

Second South Warwickshire Hoard – This rare hoard of 440 silver Roman danarii is one of the few in the world to contain coins minted by all four rulers during the tumultuous civil war of AD 69, known as “the year of the four emperors”.

Sheldon Tapestry Map of Warwickshire – This impressive 4m x 5m woven map was one of four commissioned by Ralph Sheldon in 1590 and depicts the county at the time of William Shakespeare. It is the only one of the four to survive completely.

Spicer Taxidermy–Peter Spicer and his sons were an important and pioneering family of taxidermists in Victorian Warwick and Leamington, who made the trade into an art – their work is known throughout the world.

Suffragette Sash – This shoulder sash was worn by local activist Cicely Lucas as a member of the WSPU (known as the suffragettes), who fought and suffered for the rights of women to vote from 1903 to 1917.

Sweet Machine – This sweet press was used in a local sweet shop or chemist’s in Warwickshire in the early 20th century. Warm sugar mixture would be rolled through the press to cut individual sweets, such as pear drops and cough sweets.

Wilmcote Plesiosaur Skeleton – This unique and near-complete Jurassic skeleton was unearthed near Stratford-on-Avon in the 19th century. Studied by experts across the world, it tells us about one of the key predators of Warwickshire’s ancient seas 200 million years ago.

About Warwickshire Bytes

Warwickshire Bytes is an innovative project launched by HCW in 2018 to create a digital heritage for the county. The project will create an innovative digital heritage festival, celebrating the history of Warwickshire by using archives, museum objects, and the public’s own contributions, shared via Our Warwickshire https://www.ourwarwickshire.org.uk/. Because it’s now easier for people to get online, Warwickshire’s County Record Office and Museum Service want to make more of their collections available to readers the world over. The project will conclude with a week long digital festival in March, featuring one event at the County Record Office on the 3rd and another at Rugby Library on the 5th.

For more information email benearl@warwickshire.gov.uk. You can find Warwickshire Bytes at tinyurl.com/bytes2020 and via HCW’s social media channels.

Facebook: @WarwickshireMuseum

Instagram: @heritageandculturewarwickshire

Twitter: @oisinthedeer @ourwarwickshire @chambearlin @ruairithefawn

Find out more about Heritage and Culture Warwickshire on the website: http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/