Sneak Peak: Objects going into the Museum’s new archaeology display

Catherine Hammond, the museum’s Education and Outreach Officer, has been busy at the stores selecting objects for the Archaeology display in the new museum which is due to reopen early 2016.

‘I’ve been trying to find objects from all different periods of history and from different locations around the District. My aim is to show how long people have lived and worked all over this area.

As you go through box after box, taking photos, checking lists and making sure everything is recorded properly, it can be easy to forget what an incredible amount of history has passed through your hands. Its only now looking back through all my photos of potential objects I realise I took a journey through 5000 years worth of history in about 7 hours! One of the most exciting objects I found was this Neolithic bowl from Waltham Abbey. It is around 5000 years old and hasn’t been on display since it was sent away for conservation work.

Neolithic Bowl

Neolithic Bowl

Sometimes an object gives a direct link with the past when it shows what we have in common with people who lived here over 1500 years ago. These Roman tweezers used by a Roman lady to tidy her brows have hardly changed from ones we might use today.

Tweezers

Tweezers

As a horse lover, I can’t resist including something horse related, but I didn’t expect to find this ornament, made from a horse’s tooth! It dates from Saxon times and was found near Nazeingbury.

Horse Tooth

Horse Tooth

Sadly, some objects have no information with them so we have no way of knowing how old they might be or where they were found. This Axe Head is one such mystery object, but such a good one I’m tempted to include it.

Axe Head

Axe Head

My favourite find of the day had to be this Giant Mug, found in York Hill, Loughton. I happened to look in an unusual shaped box and was delighted to uncover this. After a day spent sorting over 150 objects from over 5000 years worth of history, I wished I had a mug as big as this for a cup of tea.’

Giant Mug

Giant Mug

Artwork of the month – John Varley

John Varley

John Varley

John Varley was a British artist born in London in 1778. He was an English landscape painter mainly working in watercolour.

Varley was working at a time of transition and his work shows the transition from tinted drawing to the more fluid and bolder watercolour painting that took hold in the 19th century.

In 1798 he exhibited a highly regarded sketch of  Peterborough Cathedral at the Royal Academy  and became a regular exhibitor at the RA. In 1805 the Old Watercolour Society (OWS) was founded and as a founding member of the OWS Varley exhibited over 700 drawings there.

As well as being an artist, Valey was a teacher with pupils including Copley Fielding, David Cox, John Linnell and William Turner (artist) of Oxford.

He died in London in 1842.

Varley’s work is represented in many major museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum.

John Varley
This image, part of Epping Forest District Museum’s collection, is one of a number of studies of the church made by the artist, showing the path along the south side of the church.

Waltham Abbey Market Square

We often share images of the Market Square in Waltham Abbey on our social media sites and thought we would make a little gallery of some of the photographs we have.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey and the district at http://www.efdhistory.org.uk

What have we been up to while the museum is being refurbished?

Its been a busy summer for the museum team. Along with all the planning and work involved in the redevelopment of the museum the staff have been out and about putting on a variety of events and activities all over the district. Here is a little insight into what we have been doing!

From March this year we have been out and about all over the district attending and putting on events.

Throughout the year we have been running Family Fun craft activities in Waltham Abbey Library during school holidays. Here are some of the great crafts that have been made throughout the year. To find out more about our family activities while the museum is closed email us: museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

In March we had a stall at Waltham Abbey Marriot Family Fun Day where we saw a lot of people and gave visitors the chance to have a go at some of the old toys in our handling collection!

Waltham Abbey Marriott Family Fun Day

This was also the first year that our organisation has taken part in Museums at Night. We ran our event at our sister site Lowewood Museum because we are closed for refurbishment and lots of people of all ages joined us for an evening of archaeology. We heard from a Roman soldier, dug up some artefacts and had a talk on the archaeological history in the Borough of Broxbourne.

Museums at night

June was a busy month with us putting together a special World War One day at Budworth Hall in Ongar. The Hall itself became a war hospital during the war so a fitting place to run this event. The day was run alongside Ongar Millennium History Society and was a chance for people to see displays and bring along any First World War objects and memories to share with us.

We also attended Waltham Abbey Town Show and Epping Town Show over the summer. Two great and well attended events with lots of activities including Tour de France inspired masks and WW1 medals.

After our day in Ongar we were able to put together a special community exhibition with the objects loaned to us by members of the public. The display ran from 4th August to 4th September. Look out for more displays in our special community cabinet exhibition case in Epping Civic Offices.

Did you see us at North Weald Airfield Community Day in September? A D-Day inspired day we had our WW2 handling objects on offer for people to see!

Our Museum redevelopment display was taken to Lopping Hall in Loughton and Waltham Abbey Church in September to keep people updated on the fantastic project going on at the Museum.

Finally we attended King Harold Day in Waltham Abbey Gardens in October. A great day with lots going on!

To find out more about our future events, join our mailing list or get in touch about any projects please email us museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or call 01992 716882