Northampton’s archaeological collections find a new home
06 April 2022
A large collection of archaeological objects owned by the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery has moved to the new state-of-the-art, publicly accessible Archaeological Resources Centre (ARC) at the Chester House Estate near Wellingborough.
The collections and archives include excavated objects from Northampton’s medieval streets such as building materials from religious houses, jewellery, costume fittings and ancient pots, which were previously spread across two stores in Northampton and Daventry.
The ARC has a dedicated curator who can provide access by appointment to researchers, members of the public and school groups, allowing them to view material excavated from Northampton and across the county.
Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said:
“We are really pleased that the museum’s archaeological archive is now accessible to members of the public, thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers who have spent months planning and undertaking the move.
“The ARC is bringing collections together from across the county, so Northamptonshire’s archaeology can be studied without having to visit different venues.
“We anticipate that researchers from universities and organisations across the world will use the collections and we look forward to what they might uncover using this new research facility.”
The move was supported by 21 volunteers from the museum and the Chester House Estate, who gave over 300 hours of time across two weeks to photograph the boxes being moved, label crates and repack boxes.
In total, 9114 boxes and 153 crates of stone objects were moved in 23 lorry loads, including quern stones used 1400 years ago to grind grains at Hunsbury Hillfort and painted plaster from Roman Villas.
Councillor Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of NNC and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said:
“It is great that this collection of archaeological items has a new home at the ARC on the Chester House Estate.
“Research into the archive will help contribute to the story of people across Northamptonshire from the earliest times through to the present day. I can’t wait to visit and hope that residents will enjoy this collection and the history it brings with it.”
The ARC offers unique access to the archaeology of the county and collections can be viewed during tours aimed to inspire the next generation of archaeologists. To find out more and to book a visit, see the Chester House website.