Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Please help us to purchase a WW2 POW Diary!

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum is hoping to purchase an unusual diary written by a German prisoner of war held at Le Marchant Camp in Devizes between 1944 and 1946.

Find out more from the special page on our website, where you can also donate online

Monday, 28 December 2009

Museum open ove New Year

The Museum is open every day over the New Year.
29-30 December: open 10am to 5pm
31 December: close at 1pm
1 January 2010: open noon to 4pm (free entry)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Developing Devizes DVD - now back in stock!

After selling out of the first edition of the Developing Devizes DVD, we now have more copies available. A perfect present for Christmas.

Christmas opening - every day except 25-27 December

The Museum will be open throughout the festive period except 25-27 December.

Opening Times:
Christmas Eve: close at 1pm
Christmas Day: closed
26-27 December: closed
Monday 28 December: open noon to 4pm (free entry)
29-30 December: open 10am to 5pm
31 December: close at 1pm
1 January 2010: open noon to 4pm (free entry)

The Library is closed until Tuesday 5 January.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Looking for a last minute gift?

The Museum shop is doing a brisk trade in the last few shopping days before Christmas. We have interesting and unusual gifts at a range of prices. Drop in and have a look!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Lecture programme now launched

You can now book for our new lecture programme that runs until March! See the list, and remember that you can book tickets for all of them online. Several of last season's talks were fully booked, so book your ticket before it is too late.

Illicit Antiquities

Chris Chippindale is talking at the Museum on Saturday about illicit antiquities - the way that looted antiquities appear on the art market. It will be a fascinating lecture. More information and booking details on the lecture webpage.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Director presents to Parliamentary Archives Group

Director David Dawson is Chair of the UNESCO UK National Commission Working Group for the Memory of the World programme. He gave a presentation on the UK Memory of the World Register to the All Party Group on Archives last night, and you can see the presentation below. Nominations for the Register are open until 8 January, and we will be launching the Register in Spring 2010.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Museum cat needs a name

We have just acquired a new (toy) cat at the Museum and they need a name! We are asking children to suggest a name and will choose our favourite name on New Years Eve. We expect that the cat will find their way into lots of nooks and crannies in the Museum and we will need lots of help to find it!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Relaunch for Designation

Wiltshire Heritage Museum is Designated - a status awarded by Government.

MLA have relaunched Designation, and have created a new value statement which says that "Designation is a mark of distinction. It is an accolade, celebrating unique collections of national and international importance."

We are delighted that the importance of the collections are recognised in this way, and hope that we may be able to benefit from the funding that is to be awarded to Designated Museums.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Book launch - Tues 1 Dec - come along

The launch for the new book by Matthew McMurray on Samuel Powell's House - no 8 Long Street - is being held at the Museum at 7pm on Tuesday 1st December. Come along and meet the author, and get your copy signed!

For more information or to order your copy, see the page on the Museum website.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Recording memories of Wiltshire in WWII

As part of the Museums major winter exhibition, On the Home Front: Wiltshire in World War II, the Curator is organising several oral history days, where members of the public are invited to share their memories of the Home Front in Wiltshire with the Museum.

he interviews will be recorded by Barbara Gibson, an experienced oral history interviewer, and some of them will be uploaded on to a touchscreen in the art gallery for everyone to listen to. Already booked in for interview is an old member of the Devizes Home Guard and a former female Spitfire pilot!

If you would like to share your memories of the Home Front in Wiltshire with the Museum as part of our oral history project then please contact the Curator on 01380 727369 or email'

The dates set for the oral history interviews are 17 December, 7 January and 15 January.

The exhibition is supported by the being supported through "Their Past Your Future Phase 2 Programme"

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wiltshire and the Vikings lecture sold out!

The Wiltshire and the Vikings lecture by Andrew Reynolds is now fully booked.

Devizes' insporation for Horatio Hornblower

We are about to publish a book about Samuel Powell's House (no 8 Long Street). One of the people who lived there was Admiral Joseph Needham Tayler, whose life during the Napoleanic Wars was once of the inspirations for C S Forester's Horatio Hornblower. The book is published on 1 December, but you can order your copy now at a special pre-publication price of just £10.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Stonehenge Visitor Centre on the way to £5m HLF funding

Congratulations to English Heritage on the news carried by Culture24 that the HLF have awarded a Stage 1 Pass for a £5m application by English Heritage towards the Stonehenge Visitor Centre. The next stage is for them to develop more detailed plans and submit a Stage 2 application.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Web2.0 Training

We are delighted to welcome colleagues to our training course today on Web 2.0. The course is bEing run by UKOLN, with support from the SW Museums Federation, and with funding from Renaissance South West.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Stonehenge Project Reseach Assistant

BAJR has just listed a job advert by English Heritage for a Research Assistant - Stonehenge Project. It hasn't yet appeared on the EH webpages ...

Museum featured in Parliament

The partnership between English Heritage, Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Heritage Museum featured in a parliamentary question on Monday. Robert Key, MP for Salisbury, asked Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Minister, about funding for the museums in conjunction with the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. The video of the questions is now online.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Michael Ancram's favourite museum!

After he opened our new WW2 exhibition, Devizes MP Michael Ancram wrote in our visitors book that we are his favourite museum!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Library on the Politics Show!

As part of a background piece on the new Conservative candidate for Devizes, Claire Perry, the BBC Politics Show filmed a portrait and election for Wadham Locke, the Parlaimentary candidate in 1832. It should be on the TV at lunchtime on Sunday!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Family Day - Sunday 1 Nov

A day of activities for all the family to find out what it was like to live in Wiltshire during World War Two.

There will be activities for all ages throughout the day. Visitors can have a go at 1940’s handicrafts, make a peg doll or peg soldier, make a toy aeroplane or make and decorate a gas mask box.

Re-enactors will be in the galleries to talk to visitors. John Girvan will play the character of an ARP Warden and other re-enactors the roles of land girls, a war time policeman and a spiv.

There will also be a fun hands-on rationing activity and a mock Anderson shelter for children to go in on the day. Both of these will help them to gain an understanding of what it must have been like to be a child living at this time.

With this topic being on the History National Curriculum for KS2, the family day will be a valuable resource for children who are learning about this at school this year, as well as being a fun day out for the whole family.

Entry to the museum event will be £2 per adult and free for children. All activities are included.

The day will run from 11am - 4pm and no booking is necessary.

The Family Day precedes the opening of our new exhibition – On the Home Front: Wiltshire in World War II which opens on Sunday 8 November.

Cost: £2 adults, children FREE.

Archaeology Field Group Newsletters now online

The Archaeology Field Group have now put their latest newsletters online. The one-page newsletters give a brief update on the latest research that they are carrying out.

Online so far are:-
1 Seeking Roman Calne
2 Godwin's Meadow
3 St Mary's Church, Calne

You will also see information about current projects appearing on the AFG webpage.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Web 2.0 training event at the Museum!

Web 2.0 and the Social Web are terms which are now being used widely.
But what do these terms mean? And what, if anything, can Web 2.0 and the
Social Web offer to museums, libraries and archives, especially small
organisations with limited budgets and technical expertise?

This one day workshop entitled 'The Social Web - An introduction to Web
2.0' will be held on Monday, November 16th, 2009 from 10 - 4 at the
Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes, Wiltshire and will attempt to answer
the above questions. It is free to attend but places are limited.

One of the case studies will be Wiltshire Heritage Museum - looking at the use that we are making of Web2.0 services.

The booking form is available online.

This Event has been organised in conjunction with South Western
Federation of Museums and Art Galleries.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Draft AFG page now online

The Archaeology Field Group are working on a page that will give information about theprojects they are working on, and will encourage people to get involved in what they are doing. The work in progress can be seen on the website.

Christmas cards now for sale online!

Our Christmas cards can now be purchased online from our shop!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Appeal has aleady raised over £3000!

The appeal launched last week to support the work of the Museum has already reached over £3,000. This figure was announced by Treasurer Wendy Lansdown at the Society AGM on Saturday, to a packed meeting of 150 members. If you would like to help us, you can read more about the appeal and donate online.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre Designs

English Heritage have submitted their plans for the Stonehenge Visitor Centre to Wiltshire Council, and a number of articles show images of the proposals. They include The Architects Journal and Building Design.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

AHRC video about Bluestonehenge

AHRC has just put a video about Mike Parker-Pearson's work at Bluestonehenge online.

Tickets are still available for his talk at the Museum on Saturday evening at 7pm. Details and booking information available from our website.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Evening talk about Stonehenge by Mike Parker-Pearson added - 10 October. Book online!

An evening lecture by Mike Parker-Pearson about recent results from the Stonehenge Riverside Project at 7 pm Saturday 10 October. Book your ticket online! The afternoon talk to Society Members is now fully booked, and we have added this extra talk at the Museum. You can book your ticket online.

New Stonehenge discoveries - hear more at the Society AGM next week

The Daily Mail has this morning published information about the latest remarkable discoveries at Stonehenge. Mike Parker-Pearson will be speaking to Society Members about his latest work at the Society AGM next weekend. We have only a very few seats left, so Members must contact us to reserve their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

UPDATE the AGM is now fully booked, but an evening lecture has now been arranged. You can find out more and book online.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Goodbye Queen Victoria ...

Queen Victoria has now left us! Sculptor Geoffrey Stephenson has now completed the new head for Queen Victoria, and her headless body has now left the museum for her new home at the almshouses on Victoria Road.

Eeles Family Pottery Exhibition now open!

The Eeles Family Pottery exhibition is now open. Come and see the fantastic pieces produced by the Dorset-based family of potters. The pottery of stoneware, porcelain and Raku is made using simple ingredients from around the south west, including Dorset ball clay, Devon china clay and basalt from Somerset. Inspiration for the shapes and patterns of the pottery are drawn largely from nature with colours and glazes continually being developed as the family carry out many tests and experiments. The pottery is fired in wood fired kilns which have to reach a temperature of 1260oC. This requires a team of six to stoke the kiln continuously for 36 hours after which it takes four days for the kilns to cool. By contrast Raku, derived from a Japanese method of pottery, is fast fired and only requires a temperature of 1050oC! The pottery is taken out of the kiln at peak temperature and subjected to flaming and smoking to encapsulate the vibrant colours and lustres of this type of work.

Lisa Webb, Curator says ‘we are delighted to have the Eeles Family Pottery back at the Museum. beautifully decorated and inspired by nature, the pieces are a stunning display of locally made ceramics’.

The exhibition runs at the Museum daily from 3 to 30 October 2009. Usual admission charges apply.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

150 year old Wiltshire library goes digital - thanks to Google

150 year old Wiltshire library goes digital - thanks to Google

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum library has just gone online with a full digital library created in just 5 months using the controversial Google Books service.

The Library has been collecting books about the history, environment and archaeology of Wiltshire for over 150 years, and has many rare and important books in its collection of over 8000 volumes. Until now, the idea of getting the library online has been only a dream for librarian Dr Lorna Haycock. Without Google, it would have cost tens of thousands of pounds, buying a computer system, exhaustive data entry and only a few of the books could have been scanned electronically.

Museum Director, David Dawson explained that the controversial Google Books service has a 'My Library' facility, where you can simply click on a book that you have found on Google Books, and then add it to your own digital library. Work began in May this year to catalogue the entire library, using Google Books, and over 5,000 books have now been recorded. Many of them have already been digitised, and the full text of many can be searched online. He commented “as far as we know, we are the first library in the world to have created a digital library using the Google Books service. As an independent charity, we simply couldn't afford to get our library online until Google Books gave us this fantastic opportunity to enable people to carry out their research online.”

The digital library has now been launched through the museum website – Everyone can now browse and search the library online – finding books that contain detailed information about where they live, or about the history of their family. Director David Dawson explains “people can then visit our library to read the real books, discovering the wealth of material that we have in our fantastic library”.

More information about the library at

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum digital library is at

Archaeologist Phil Harding, best known for his appearances on Channel 4's Time Team, talks about what makes the Museum Library so important to him on a YouTube video

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Fundraiser post now advertised

The Museum has been awarded funding by the Association of Independent Museums Sustainability Fund to employ a part-time fundraiser, initially for 6 months.

Applications are now open, and the Job Description and Application Pack and the Application Form are now available online from the Documents section of our website.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Last few days - Inspired by Stonehenge

The Inspired by Stonehenge exhibition closes this weekend - on Sunday 20th September - so there are just a few days left in which to see it!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Director talking at university Conference on Copyright and digitisation

Director David Dawson will be speaking at a conference organised by JISC Digital Media, a support service for universities. The talk will consider mechanisms that might to encourage the use of digital images in education and research. Based on practical examples, the session will also look at some of the constraints and opportunities that are offered by online publication, and include an object lesson in safeguarding intellectual property.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

UK Memory of the World Register launched by Museum Director

Museum Director, David Dawson, is chair of the UNESCO UK Commission working group that has just opened the UK Memory of the World Register for nominations. The programme aims to promote and celebrate documentary and moving image archives. See the UNESCO website for more information.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Museum celebrates £150,000 grant success

Wiltshire Heritage Museum is celebrating an award of £150,000 to help create a new prehistory gallery at the museum.

The new gallery will feature Britain’s richest Bronze Age burial, found at Bush Barrow, near Stonehenge. The finds from the burial have been described by the Daily Mail as ‘Britain’s first Crown Jewels’ that once belonged to the ‘king of Stonehenge’. The gold finds will be on permanent display in Wiltshire for the first time in generations.

The Museum is home to the best Bronze Age collections in Britain, and the new displays will be at the heart of a revitalised museum, which will also feature a lift to enable access to all the museum displays. The new gallery will be developed in collaboration with the planned new Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

The award is of one of 34 Grants totalling £4 million from the DCMS / Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Scheme that will improve displays and facilities at 34 museums up and down the country. Culture Minister, Barbara Follett said, “We are fortunate to have so many excellent museums and galleries in this country, with fascinating collections and dedicated staff, providing a really great visitor experience for the public. These grants help ... good quality museum projects that will enhance displays and interpretation

Chairman Bill Perry said, “This substantial grant is a major step forward towards our goal of putting the gold objects from the Stonehenge Bush Barrow on permanent display and creating new galleries to display our important prehistoric collections. It is the first success in our fundraising campaign that we launched in May this year.”

Director, David Dawson said, “This is fantastic news for the Museum, our visitors and for Devizes. We are now working closely with English Heritage and Salisbury Museum on the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre, and our new displays will encourage thousands of people to discover Devizes”.

The Fundaising Campaign for the Museum was launched in May 2009 in a story carried by the Daily Mail and the Bush Barrow finds were featured in a BBC News report.

Find out more from the DCMS Press Release about the award.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Building Stonehenge - see the result!

Julian Richards led a very successful day building Stonehenge! Lots of people came to help, and we succeeded in building a complete trilithon - and you can see just some of the people who helped!

Many thanks to Pete Glastonbury who took the photographs.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Build Stonehenge in a Day! Bank Holiday Sunday

Come and help Stonehenge expert Julian Richards build Stonehenge at Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Long Street on Sunday 30 August 2009. Everyone will be able to help construct (out of cardboard and wallpaper) and decorate Trilithons and bluestones to recreate a smaller version of Stonehenge. The activity will take place in the Museum car park - or in the Lecture Hall if this summer's 'Barbour queue' weather continues. Come along at any time between 11am and 3pm. Entry is free.

Bank Holiday Film Show – Bringing Back Memories Of Devizes 40 Years Ago

Carnival Parade, 1969 and the Heart of Wiltshire, 1969 are the two films chosen by Devizes and District Cine & Video Club for this years Bank Holiday Monday Film Show. The films will be shown at 11am , noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Entry is free!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Devizes International Street Festival - Bank Holiday Monday!

It's the 10th anniversary of the festival and it will be the biggest ever with an evening finale of fireworks, lights and music presented by The World Famous. It's a big, family event, with continuous all day programme of international Street Arts and live music, kids entertainment, food, drink and festival stalls.

The Museum will feature a film show, and will have a stall in the Market Place for the day.

Bands include: No 1 Station, Gee Baby I Love You, Shooglenifty and the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band. The Street shows will include: Fraser Hooper, Nakupelle, Chapeau Magique, Musical Ruth, Bedlam Oz, Bicycle Ballet, Alice & Alice, Raz'Bitumes and many many more.

For more information, see theDevizes International Street Festival Website.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Rock and Fossil event - Bristol, 31 August

On Bank Holiday Monday, 31 August, between 10am and 4pm, the annual 'Rock & Fossil' event will take place on the Bristol & Bath Railway Path at Saltford near Bristol. This popular day provides an opportunity for the public to talk to experts about local rocks, fossils and minerals and to bring along some of their own examples to have them identified.

For more details, see the Geology in the West Country blog

Friday, 31 July 2009

Stonehenge Family Day this Sunday!

This Sunday is one of our popular Family Days, with activities for all the family, part of the Festival of Archaeology.

Activities include

Bronze Age casting demonstrations with Neil Burridge.
Create your own Stonehenge souvenirs.
Discover and investigate archaeological artefacts.
Flint knapping demonstrations throughout the day.
Recent finds from Trowbridge Metal Detecting Club.
Fun family activities from The National Trust Stonehenge Landscape Project and Wiltshire Council Conservation Service.

The event runs from 11am to 4pm.

Museum at Ramsbury Village Fete

We are having a stall at Ramsbury Village Fete on Saturday afternoon - come and see us and have a go at helping us make Stonehenge!

Seeking Roman Calne Family Day

Family Day at Calne Heritage Centre tomorrow! Have a go a making your own mosaic, and many more activities!

Director welcomes inscription of Magna Carta in UNESCO Memory of the World Programme

Director David Dawson is Chair of the UNESCO UK Commission Memory of the World Working Group.

The UNESCO UK Commission press release reads
"The four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta have been awarded ‘Memory of the World’ status by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today, in recognition of their outstanding universal value. With their Inscription on the Memory of the World Register, the documents, held by the British Library, Salisbury Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral, join the ranks of some of the world’s most significant documentary heritage.

“The four surviving copies of 1215 Magna Carta are a unique testament to the world’s rich documentary heritage,” says David Dawson, Chair of the UK Memory of the World Committee. “It is exactly these types of documents that the Memory of the World Register seeks to help preserve and promote access to.”

On 30 July, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Ko├»chiro Matsuura, approved the inscription following a recommendation by the 14-member International Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme."

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Seeking Roman Calne exhibition opens!

The Seeking Roman Calne exhibition is now open at Calne Heritage Centre, and runs until Saturday 1st August. The exhibition features local finds from the collections of Wiltshire Heritage Museum, and the opportunity to handle some real Roman finds.

Seeking Roman Calne talk - Sam Moorhead ill

Unfortunately Sam Moorhead of the British Museum is ill, and so will be unable to give the scheduled talk tonight about Roman coin hoards in North Wiltshire. The evening will go ahead, with the official opening of the exhibition and a talk by David Dawson about teh Seeking Roman Calne project.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Stonehenge Family Day this Sunday!

This Sunday is one of our popular Family Days, with activities for all the family, part of the Festival of Archaeology.

Activities include

Bronze Age casting demonstrations with Neil Burridge.
Create your own Stonehenge souvenirs.
Discover and investigate archaeological artefacts.
Flint knapping demonstrations throughout the day.
Recent finds from Trowbridge Metal Detecting Club.
Fun family activities from The National Trust Stonehenge Landscape Project and Wiltshire Council Conservation Service.

The event runs from 11am to 4pm.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Doug meets the Duchess! Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meets museum trustee

The Museum has a stand provided by Wiltshire Council at the West Wilts Show in Trowbridge, which was opened by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall this morning. During her tour of the Show, Camilla met Doug Roseaman, Deputy Chair of the Museum and asked about how the museum was involved in the plans for a new Visitor Centre at Stonehenge.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

See the Museum at the West Wilts Show!

The Museum will be at the West Wilts Show in Trowbridge from tomorrow! We are part of the Wiltshire Council stand, working with VisitWiltshire.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pupils turn photographers in Wiltshire Heritage Museum Stonehenge contest

Pupils from Downland School in Devizes took part in a special visit inside Stonehenge, and took part in a competition - and their stunning results have been featured on the Culture24 website.

Fyfield and Overton Downs: A Walk Through a World Heritage Landscape

Two guided walks led by Professor Peter Fowler - for adults on Saturday 25 July, and one aimed especially for children on Sunday 26 July.

For more information, see this page on the museum website.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Stonehenge Visitor Centre exhibition at Museum

We are hosting, FOR THREE DAYS ONLY, English Heritage's exhibition about the selected location for the new visitor facilities at Stonehenge.

It was recently announced that Airman's Cross had been chosen as the location for new visitor facilities at Stonehenge. Details of the new site, and proposals for the closure of the A344 are outlined in the exhibition.

Come along and let English Heritage have your view on the proposals.

Details of the proposals can also be viewed at

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Stonehenge - the good, the bad, and the ugly ...

This Saturday sees the special lecture by Julian Richards linked to the 'Inspired by Stonehenge' exhibition at the Museum with an opportunity to view the exhibition and meet Julian.

Julian is an avid collector of souvenirs depicting Stonehenge - from the tasteful to the hideous! This talk and the exhibition at the Museum are drawn from his varied and eclectic collection.

Beyond the standard postcard views the image of Stonehenge has appeared on everything from souvenir china (ranging from tasteful to hideous); on jigsaw puzzles and toasting forks, on paperweights and even on Japanese phone cards. Couple these with guidebooks from 1823 onwards, the extraordinary artistic offerings of the Festival era in the 1970s and 80s and some very odd articles of clothing and these souvenirs can quite literally be divided into 'the good, the bad and the ugly'.

Stonehenge has even inspired music, from jazz to heavy rock, folk and quite frankly strange.

Julian Richards is a well-known archaeologist and broadcaster. He has worked for Wessex Archaeology, AC Archaeology and English Heritage and during the 1980s ran the ‘Stonehenge Environs Project’. His television credits include Meet the Ancestors and Blood of the Vikings and he continues to work on the BBC Radio 4 series Mapping the Town. He is a member of the Society of Antiquaries and the Institute of Field Archaeologists.

Tickets are still available, and can be booked online!!!

Archaeology Symposium - Mixed Ingredients

The programme of the Archaeology Symposium, to be held in Devizes on Saturday 14 November, is starting to be firmed up!

The Symposium will be titled 'Mixed Ingredients: creating partnerships for an integrated approach to the Historic Environment'. It will examine current and potential projects and policies which promote the protection, promotion and participation in the Historic Environment. Presentations will cover scientific collaboration, activities for young people, estate management, local volunteer groups, archaeological archives, outcomes of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the repatriation of human remains debate and World Heritage Site issues, including the proposed new Visitor Centre at Stonehenge.

The programme is being developed by Gill Swanton, chair of the Archaeology Committee of the Society, and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, the County Archaeologist.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Hoard of Bronze Age axes goes on display

Discovered in 1999 and dating to 1000-800 BC these axes were found in a field near Marlborough. They may have been buried by a travelling metalworker for use at a later date or for safekeeping in times of trouble. Alternatively they may have been a gift to the gods - putting valuable objects into the ground meant they were beyond the reach of mortals.

The award for the most tasteless object goes to ...

Visitors to the Inspired by Stonehenge exhibition are asked to vote for the most tasteless object in the exhibition. The clear winner so far is a green pottery shoe, with a transfer of Stonehenge! Hear more about the wierd and wonderful souvenirs from Stonehenge at the talk by Stonehenge expert Julian Richards on Saturday! More information and online booking, follow this link.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Celebration of the Wierd and Wonderful - talk by Julian RIchards

Stonehenge expert Julian Richards will be sharing his enthusiasm for the wierd and wonderful objects inspired by Stonehenge at a talk on 27 July . More information and online booking, follow this link.

Lunchtime lecture - Devizes Cheesecakes

Dave Buxton will be talking about Devizes cheescakes at what looks as though it will be a very popular lecture! There will even be free samples! The talk is Wednesday 8 July at 1pm, cost £2.50.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Museum featured in Culture24 story!

Stonehenge expet Julain RIchards installed the new Spinal Tap CD in the Inspired by Stonehenge exhibition on the eve of their appearance at Glastonbury and today at Wembley Arena. Follow the link to the Culture 24 article.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Trilithon newsletter now online

Our newsletter, called Trilithon, is now online! Published every 6 months, it aims to inform members and visitors about the many activities of the Society, as well as the museum. Download the 2Mb file from this link on our website.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Devizes Food Festival - demonstration at the museum

On Sunday 12 July, Jamie Barnett will be demonstrating some of the many aspects of sugar and chocolate craft, and visitors will be able to help in creating a profiterole tower!

Jamie graduated at the Academy of Culinary Arts , Bournemouth, and trained at Lucknam Park Country House Hotel and is now a chef at Stanton manor.

Jamie has featured in TVs Masterchef - where he reached the Quarter Finals.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Bath Geology Society visit - Cotswold quarry

Bath Geological Society are organising a visit to Naunton Quarry in Gloucestershire - famous for Cotswold slate - on July 11th. For details - see the Geology in the West Country blog

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Society trip to Sicily!

Just 4 places are left on the Society's 8-day visit to see the historic architecture, art and archaeology of Sicily - from 26 September to 3 October 2009

Arranged for WANHS by Riviera Travel, this tour includes such famous archaeological sites as the Villa del Casale, the Greco-Roman theatre at Raormina with its spectacular views of the sea and Mount Etna, the Greek temples at Agrigento, the cathedrals at Palermo, Syracuse and Monreale and much more.

Contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in coming!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Library closed - Saturday 20 June

Unfortunately we will not be able to open the library on Saturday 20 June. Please let us know if you were planning to use the library that day, and we will try our best to help.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Outings sold out!

The outings to Acton Court and Cloatley manor are now both sold out. The other trips are also proving very popular, so please book your tickets while you still can.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Silbury - the Heart of the Hill

The 2007 programme about Silbury Hill, which includes film shot at the Museum, has just been repeated on BBC4, and is available on the BBC iplayer until 21 June at

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Axe in our collections featured in the Times!

The Times has an article about Jadeite axes - and features the axe in our collections from Breamore!! To quote from the article "a superb example from Canterbury came from the same block as an axe from Breamore in Hampshire, although these two were made centuries apart".

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Explorer Scouts and the garden

The Phoenix Explorer Scouts have just done a fantastic job in tidying the garden. Over the last couple fo weekends, they have completely dug it over, and put in a new selection of plants, given to the Museum by local garden centres. The garden is looking better than it has for years! We just need to wait a little for them to grow and to get established. A very big thanks!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Danger – sculptor at work!!!

Sculptor Geoffrey Stephenson is starting work on the statue of Queen Victoria currently in the garden of the Museum. He will be re-carving the head, before Queen Victoria is moved to her new home in front of the Victoria Road almshouses in Devizes.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bath and West Show

The Museum shared a stand at the Bath and West Show with VisitWiltshire - who promote tourism across the County. With over 150,000 people at the show, it was very busy, and we gave out almost 3,000 What's On leaflets and postcards advertising 'Inspired by Stonehenge'. Wednesday was wet, and a little miserable, but the rest of the week was fanstastic. Now just need to wait and see how many people come to the museum as a result ....

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Inspired by Stonehenge Exhibition launch

A very successful exhibition launch on Friday night for the new exhibition. It was great to see so many people, and to hear the reactions to the exhibition. Thankfully everything was finished and the paint was even dry! Julian was busy signing copies of the book that accompanies the exhibition.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Fundraising campaign launch - Daily Mail feature

The Museum is featured in the Daily Mail today, with a story about the plans for a new exhibition. The story concentrates on Bush Barrow, but the idea is to have a new exhibition for the Neolithic and Bronze Age collections. This is the first part of an ambitious (my words!!!) plan to refurbish all the galleries and to create a logical sequence for the museum.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Inspired by Stonehenge booklet

The new booklet to accomany the Inspired by Stonehenge exhibition arrived today! Written by Julian Richards, and published by Hobnob Press, it has loads of colour photos and looks great. All ready for the exhibition launch next week.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

New cases

The new display cases arrived in the museum today, and Lisa is busy preparing the exhibition of latest acquisitions that will open in a couple of weeks time! It is looking very good.