Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Four-year Bronze Age conservation project completion celebrations

A nationally-important project to save more than 100 Bronze Age ceramic pots has now been completed. A celebration to mark the end of the four-year Wiltshire County Council-led project will be held at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum's lecture hall on Wednesday, March 24.

The last pots to be conserved will be handed over to Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes during the event, which starts at 6.30pm.

The ceramic pots - which are between 3,000 and 5,000 years old - were discovered near Stonehenge, Avebury and other historically significant sites in Wiltshire. The conservation work is ground-breaking and it is the first time such techniques have been used in the UK.

Repairs carried out by the Victorians and later generations used an unusual range of materials, including cement, terracotta plant pots and bicycle spokes.

These previous repairs had started to fail and urgent conservation work was needed to safeguard the pots' future.

The 105 vessels included in the conservation project form part of the Bronze Age ceramics collections at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes.

Both museums have collections which have been designated as being of national importance by the Museums, Archives and Libraries Council.

Many of the pots were discovered by three of the most celebrated pioneers of archaeology - Sir Richard Colt Hoare, owner of the Stourhead estate in Wiltshire, his colleague, William Cunnington, and General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, one of the leading archaeologists and anthropologists of the Victorian age.

William Snow, Wiltshire County Council's cabinet member for education, said: "I am delighted that this nationally important conservation project has now been completed.

"Conservators at the county council have carried out painstaking work over the last four years to ensure that future generations will be able to see and appreciate these extraordinary ceramics.

"The whole point of the project has been to enable the public and researchers to have access to these vessels. If they had not been conserved that would not have been possible.

"Many of the conserved ceramics have been back on display at the two museums for some time and I am thrilled that the last of the pots are now ready."

Paul Robinson, curator of Wiltshire Heritage Museum, said: "This has been a model instance of co-operation between Wiltshire County Council and the two independent museums.

"The project also meets the expectations of museum visitors today - that whatever is displayed will be visually appealing and strictly accurate."

Peter Saunders, director of Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, said: "This has been a remarkable project made possible through the collaboration of the Wiltshire County Council conservation centre and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"It is wonderful to see these nationally important Bronze Age vessels restored once again to a condition worthy of public display."

Two conservators and a subcontractor worked on the project full-time. A large pot with cement to remove could take up to 230 hours to conserve.

The processes used included removing cement, rebuilding the pots with modern, sympathetic materials and providing specialist packing for each vessel.

The project cost a total of just under £200,000, with the Heritage Lottery Fund providing nearly £150,000. Other funding came from Wiltshire County Council, the two museums involved, the L J Skaggs and Mary C Skaggs Foundation, USA, the South West Museums Council and the American School in London.


Representatives of the museum | talks | www
Representatives of The other museums involved | talks | www


Date and Time:

24 March 2004 at 6:30 pm





The Megalithic Portal


More at The Megalithic Portal...




Available from:

Additional Information:

The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum maintains a website where you will find details of their other events, exhibitions and lectures.

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund