New gallery set to open

ANTHROPOLOGIST and BBC TV Coast and Origins of Us presenter Dr Alice Robertswill open Salisbury Museum’s new £2.4m Wessex Gallery on Saturday.

The new gallery will house one of Europe’s most extensive collections of Stonehenge and prehistoric artefacts including the Amesbury Archer - popularly dubbed the King of Stonehenge and the Wardour Hoard.

To mark the event the museum will be hosting an admission-free day of action-packed celebrations, special events, living history displays and demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts.

There will also be other celebrity guests including Channel 4 Time Team presenter and field archaeologist Phil Harding, who will be demonstrating flint knapping – the ancient art of shaping tools and weapons from stones - which early the Britons used.

Along with a free view of the new Wessex Gallery, members of the public will have the opportunity to see Norman falconry displays, try on Norman dresses, or get suited and booted in a knight’s hefty chainmail armour complete with sword.

There will also be ancient coppicing, stone masonry, pottery-making and wool dyeing demonstrations as well as a chance for people to try their hand at reconstructing a prehistoric face, carve a Stone Age chalk animal and experience an Anglo Saxon burial ritual.

Museum director Adrian Green said: “The grand opening of our new Wessex Gallery is going to be a fantastic all-day event with lots of exciting activities to see and do for all age groups.

“It’s also a great opportunity for people to see our amazing new Wessex Gallery which brings the prehistory and history of Stonehenge and Wessex to life.”

The Wessex Gallery Grand Opening is on Saturday, 12 July from 10am to 4pm at Salisbury Museum, The Close.

For more information call 01722 332151 or visit www.salisburymuseum.org.uk.

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