New interactive Anglo-Saxon gallery at Tamworth Castle is ‘battling’ towards completion

Battle & Tribute Exhibition Tamworth Castle

January 26th 2021

This year will see the launch of a new state-of-the-art and interactive exhibition at Tamworth Castle, dedicated to the area’s rich Anglo-Saxon history.
Building works are complete in Tamworth Castle for an exciting new ‘Battle and Tribute’ exhibition that has transformed the top floor of the castle to an Anglo-Saxon, interactive tribute.

The £768,000 ‘Battle and Tribute’ exhibition, including the creation of a mead hall, an immersive combat film experience and a unique touch-table strategy game, is in its last stages of creation, with the final touches nearly complete. This will include hosting pieces of the legendary Staffordshire Hoard to display, alongside other Anglo-Saxon artefacts.

The exhibition will bring the area’s rich Anglo-Saxon history to life, including the role of our famous warrior queen, Aethelflaed. It will also explore many exciting aspects of the Staffordshire Hoard, including themes of battle, kingship and the warrior culture in Anglo-Saxon Mercia.

The top floor of the ancient castle has been completely altered and improved, including the upgrading of infrastructure, a new ceiling and lighting, as well as conservation repairs to walls and windows. This has made way for the final installation of a brand new exhibition.

The interpretation elements of the exhibition are being completed by following Covid-19 restrictions and guideline changes. 

The ‘Battle and Tribute’ has been made possible thanks to £499,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with the remainder of the cost being provided by Tamworth Borough Council, the Ready to Borrow Scheme supported by the Arts Council England and Friends of Tamworth Castle.

Cllr Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, said: “It’s been a challenging few months with the recent restrictions on working and lockdown constraints. However, we happy to announce we are at the final stages of completion of the state-of-the-art Battle and Tribute gallery, this is a really impressive change to celebrate our history, unlike anything we’ve had at the castle before. 

“We wanted the public to have an exclusive look at some of the images of the exciting gallery exhibits, ahead of the official opening this year. Take a look at the mead hall showing the fire and gift stool. The king would have sat on this ‘gift stol’ when giving out gifts of loyalty to his warriors.

“The other images include that of a large snakes and ladders interactive activity for families to play. Visitors will climb a ladder or slide down a snake depending on whether they win or lose in battle or even be granted marriage to a Saxon princess!

“As part of sharing our historical Tamworth story, it will really showcase our rich Anglo-Saxon heritage, including the role of our famous warrior queen Aethelflaed and the increased display of a number of items from the Staffordshire Hoard, demonstrating how this incredible treasure trove fits into the wider history of the Kingdom of Mercia.

“We often hear that local people haven’t visited to the castle for many years, this new exhibition is really worth coming to see, we look forward to its completion and to opening this exciting exhibition to visitors safely when Covid-19 restrictions allow.”

Keep an eye out on and via the Tamworth Castle’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more news about the launch in the coming months.
The Staffordshire Hoard is owned by Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent City Councils, and managed on their behalf by Birmingham Museums Trust and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.