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The beautiful village of Tattenhall in Cheshire

Our Cabinet of Curiosities - Celebrating Local Distinctiveness

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Monday afternoon saw the unveiling of a bespoke 'Artefacts Display Cabinet', housed in the stairwell of the Barbour Institute and which has brought together a number of artefacts that have been unearthed locally, but which had not been housed in a central village location.

As an integral part of the history of our village, it is important that artefacts are recorded and appropriately displayed, thereby fostering curiosity in our local heritage and allowing everyone to engage with their past.

Yvonne Keeping of Tattenhall Local History, has worked tirelessly in this respect and her vision of a 'cabinet of curiosities' is now a reality.

Ward Councillor, Mike Jones, in providing monies from his allocation for 'Local Community Initiatives', unveiled the new Cabinet on Monday afternoon and he was keen to emphasise that '... artefacts such as these provide a tremendous sense of place ... providing their own story, where story-telling is often a thing of the past ...'.

And what a story, providing inspiration and fun. The artefacts range from what were then everyday necessities such as buttons, thimbles and coins (albeit that the Elizabethan coin on display is quite splendid) to fragments of beautifully decorated medieval glazed floor tiles, together with shards of iridescent church glass. The bulb of a clay smoking pipe (altogether larger than usual remembering that tobacco was an expensive commodity) with a distinctive cat's head design, is fascinating, as is the pewter handle from a 16th or 17th century porringer (a small vessel typically with a handle).

Projects such as these don't 'just happen', they are the outcome of collaboration on the part of many.

Our thanks to the following and to their representatives who were in attendance, particularly Maggi Dempsey from Sanctuary Housing ....

  • Ward Councillor, Mike Jones
  • Sanctuary Housing who paid for the children's workshops which complemented the project, together with the work of Nikki Barraclough from Ditzy Rose Makery and art specialists Mary Pilkington and Sarah Usher
  • The Grosvenor Museum and particularly, Elizabeth Montgomery, Head of Finds, and the two hugely skilled technicians who created an artefacts cabinet of which we should be rightly proud
  • The Boleworth Estate and Barbour Family for their support and a licence to access their land
  • Local landowner Neil Matthews, and metal detectorists Paul and Ash
  • The Barbour Trustees
  • St Alban's Church
  • Local residents who have contributed items to the display

The work from the children's workshops is currently displayed alongside the cabinet.

To access our article on those workshops CLICK HERE

To access the current gallery of Artefacts on our Local History Website CLICK HERE

Please call in at The Barbour Institute and take a peep at times past .... (click on each image to enlarge)