“Having worked in the Staffordshire Hoard galleries for over three years, I have seen first-hand how the hoard fascinates people and captures their imagination.” – Anthony Crutch
The first permanent gallery to display the Staffordshire Hoard opened in October 2014. As part of the display, we have included an Anglo-Saxon sword, on loan from the British Museum.
Having worked in the Staffordshire Hoard galleries for over three years, I have seen first-hand how the hoard fascinates people and captures their imagination. They are struck by the intricacy of the detail, the beauty of the designs and the sheer amount of objects.
One thing that makes the hoard so interesting is the fact that the vast majority of it is made up of military equipment, with a large number of decorative pieces of swords. The twisted and fragmentary nature of the objects and the absence of any sword blades in the hoard can make it difficult for people to visualise them in their original context. Having a real Anglo-Saxon sword allows us to show people how these buckled and broken objects would have fitted together – it has become a valuable interpretation tool. This really helps people understand what these objects would have looked like and how they would have been used, providing a compelling insight into the lives of these craftspeople and warriors from our distant past.
Anthony Crutch, Museum Enabler at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery