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The Heritage Museum

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Have you ever seen a mammoth tooth? A Roman Mosaic floor or a Stone Age polished axe head?

The Heritage Museum has been created to display the many artefacts that were found on the site during the extensive archaeological excavations in the 1980s. You will find displays that tell the story of the past settlers who have lived here over the last 10,000 years.

With amazing views over Solstice Lake, the Heritage Zone is also the perfect place to look out over our Bronze Age Round Barrow, an ancient scheduled monument. Volunteers, rangers and specialist contractors have been working hard to protect and restore the area, making the Round Barrow a feature in the landscape once again.

A replica Bronze Age log boat is also on display, kindly loaned by Dr James Dilley of Ancient Craft who we are partnering with for our Bronze Age Boat Build project.

Amongst the many amazing artefacts displayed are information boards explaining all the exciting heritage projects that are underway to explore the rich history of the site.

Read more about our projects here.

We would love to know what you think of the Heritage Museum – when you visit, please leave a comment in the Visitors Book!

This page is currently being updated, please feel free check back soon!

Our Mission

The Heritage Museum was established to display the many artefacts that were found on the site during these extensive archaeological excavations. These remarkable finds help tell the story of the rich and varied history of what lies beneath our feet at Stanwick Lakes.

Heritage should be open to all, and the Museum is a space to engage visitors and local communities in the extraordinary history of the area through an accessible space, collections, learning programs and events.

Discover 5,000+ years of history at Stanwick Lakes

Rich History

Before quarrying works started in the 1980’s, several archaeological excavations unearthed a wealth of history dating from the Neolithic through to Medieval (4000BC – 1450AD).

The archaeological excavation areas consistently expanded, becoming one of the UK’s largest and most nationally significant archaeological sites.

The following settlements were uncovered which provided evidence of almost continuous human activity in the valley for over 5000 years.

Neolithic (3700Bc – 3500BC),

Bronze Age (2000BC – 1500BC),

Iron Age (400BC – 43AD),

Roman (250AD- 410AD,

Saxon & Norman (95AD – 1154AD),

Medieval (1154AD- 1450AD)

The Museum

With beautiful views over Solstice Lake, the Heritage Museum is the perfect place to explore the story of the past settlers who have lived here over the past 5,000+ years.

The Collections

Every artefact on display tells its own story of the past, stories that can show us more about the daily life, habits and rituals of the ancient settlers in the valley.

Bronze Age Beaker

Shards of a Bronze Age (date) Beaker Pot, placed devotedly in a Round      Barrow burial over 4,000 years ago.

Roman Samian Pot

The beautifullly made base of a Roman Samian pot – the best of the best and most certainly the finest pottery of the Villa household, complete with potter’s stamp

Ancient Clothing Accessories

Every day fashion in the form of hair pins, brooches and clothing decorations, discovered in the deserted Medieval village of West Cotton.

Stone Axe Head

The highly polished stone axe head, dating back to the Neolthic period.
A tool that would have taken its owner hundreds of hours to shape, sharpen and polish, only to be left in a ditch of a Long Barrow burial. Was it left behind as an offering, or was it lost?

Heritage Projects Exhibition

Keep up to date with our exciting heritage projects! Our project exhibition boards are permanently on display and are a great way to see how the projects are developing:

  • Construction of an Iron Age settlement and second roundhouse
  • Restoration of the Bronze Age Round Barrow, an Ancient Scheduled Monument – visible from our Barrow Viewing Point in the museum
  • Exploring ancient textiles and creating Iron Age clothing with the Northants Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers
  • The Big Bronze Age Boat Build – building replica Bronze Age log boats with ancient tools.
  • Imagine an ancient history of the waterways, with a woven willow coracle frame made by volunteers and a replica Bronze Age log boat on display, kindly loaned by Dr James Dilley of Ancient Craft who we are partnering with for our Bronze Age Boat Build project.

You can find out more about our heritage projects here.

Coming in 2024… 

Exhibitions / displays:

    • “When In Rome”
      Roman Life in the Stanwick Lakes Valley – artefact exhibition
    • “Weaving Wednesdays – Ancient Textiles”
      Explore ancient textiles and techniques with the Northants Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

 Digital Access:

  • Explore the history, heritage and projects via modern technology and digital screens
Heritage Museum Tours

Would you like to organise a tour for your group?
As part of our National Lottery Funded Heritage project, we are able to offer a FREE tour of the museum and artefacts by a member of the Heritage Team, which can also include a visit to some of our heritage areas around the site.

The Heritage Museum is also included in every history school visit booked though our educational program here at Stanwick Lakes.

To find out more, please email heritage@rftrust.org.uk

Partnerships

We have established heritage partnerships with a number of groups and individuals, working together to preserve and display historical artefacts, making them accessible to the public.

We are also extremely grateful for the many donations and private loans that enhance our Museum space.

  We are supporting UDIG at Stanwick Hall in 2024, an exciting research training archaeological excavation.

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