Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A heritage to treasure

For the first time, a regional museum is showing its medieval and Viking treasures at the British Museum. Steve Pratt discovers the story of England’s capital of the North and unearths an unusual recipient of a Blue Peter badge.

THE gallery at the British Museum is crammed with extraordinary objects of national and worldwide significance, as keeper of prehistory and Europe Jonathan Williams calls them.

There’s the York Helmet, the most outstanding Anglo-Saxon find to survive in Europe, and the Middleham Jewel, regarded as one of the finest pieces of Gothic jewellery found in this country. In another display case is the 1,000-year-old Gilling sword, one of the best preserved Viking swords ever found.

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