Lacock Cup and Magna Carta

on Monday, 23 March 2015. Posted in Museums

I thought I would use this blog to update you on a couple of the exhibitions currently taking place in museums across the county.

Salisbury Museum

Salisbury Museum are currently showing ‘Secular to Sacred – The Story of the Lacock Cup’

Running until May 4th this exhibition showcases the stunning 15th century silver cup from the church of St Cyriac, Lacock. The cup was recently jointly acquired by The British Museum and The Wiltshire Museum, Devizes and Salisbury is the first venue to display it on this current tour.

The cup has a fascinating dual history, having been used both as a feasting cup and a holy chalice. The cup was in use at Lacock for over 400 years and was loaned to the British Museum in 1963, but continued to return to Lacock for use at religious festivals until about thirty years ago.

Alongside the Lacock cup the exhibition in Salisbury includes other church vessels from surrounding parishes including Wylye, Fisherton, Odstock, Nunton and Bodenham.

This exhibition will be followed later in May by a major exhibition ‘Turner’s Wessex’, the first ever exhibition devoted to J M W Turner’s drawings and paintings of Salisbury Cathedral, the city and its surroundings.

Trowbridge Museum

Trowbridge Museum's brand new Magna Carta exhibition ‘Game of Barons’ runs until 25th July 2015. From medieval weaponry to Lego castles, the exhibition will educate and entertain visitors of all ages. The middle ages are explored through heraldry and pageantry as well as displays about daily life, food, warfare, the troubled reigns of Henry II and Richard the Lionheart and much more. 

A faithful facsimile of Magna Carta will be available to view (with transcription!) and there will be some medieval souvenirs for sale to celebrate the 800th anniversary of what some people consider to be the birth of modern democracy in this country. Watching over the proceedings will be the imposing form of Henry De Bohun himself (in maquette form!), Trowbridge’s very own Magna Carta baron, one of only two from the South West.

With support from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant Trowbridge are hosting a wide range of activities alongside the exhibition to celebrate the Magna Carta anniversary. These include:

  • Medieval school workshops
  • Medieval craft activities for adults and children
  • Magna Carta/Henry de Bohun trail
  • Magna Carta conference (25th April)

The town’s special links to Magna Carta arise from Henry de Bohun, lord of the manor of Trowbridge, who was elected to be one of the twenty-five barons present at Runnymede in 1215 to persuade King John to agree to Magna Carta. Wiltshire is the only county to include both a Baron Town and one of the original 1215 copies of the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral.

If you get the chance, do go along and visit the exhibitions.

Tim Burge, Museums Officer, March 2015


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