History of Hampshire & Isle of Wight in ten objects

Press Release: 19/01/2010

Winchester Reliquary

BBC Radio Solent and museums across the county have revealed the list of 10 objects they have chosen to tell a history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  The list of 10 objects can be seen on the BBC Local site for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, www.bbc.co.uk/hampshire and all the objects will be on display at the relevant museums during 2010.


The list of 10 objects is part of the wider A History of the World project formed out of a unique partnership between the BBC, the British Museum and 350 museums and institutions across the country.

One of the objects selected is the Winchester Reliquary at Winchester’s City Museum.
Excavated in 1976, it is the only Anglo-Saxon reliquary of this type to have been found in this country and reflects the importance of Winchester as an ecclesiastical and artistic centre. The reliquary (c.800-920) functioned as a portable altar containing the relics of a saint or some other object of religious devotion. It dates back to, and reflects, a period of cultural rebirth.

Another Winchester based item included in the list is the Fisher Kukri at the Gurkha Museum. The Kukri is the national symbol of Nepal as well as a weapon of the Gurkhas. It symbolises Gurkha courage and loyalty, cementing a unique relationship between Britain and Nepal - our oldest ally in Asia.


Dr Geoff Denford, Principal Curator for Winchester City Council’s museums service, said:  “Our collections are dedicated to telling the story of Winchester, and this exciting project enables us to place that story in its wider regional and national context.  We are delighted that the Winchester Reliquary has been selected among the ten objects.”


Cllr Patricia Stallard, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, added: “The inclusion of the Fisher Kukri from the Gurkha Museum in the city is very topical, and also a wonderful reminder that Hampshire’s cultural heritage is a truly international one.”


The BBC’s listeners and viewers will be asked to suggest further objects and can actively participate by uploading photographs of their own objects that have a local or global appeal.  At the end of February 2010 it is hoped that each BBC Local website will have an additional “People’s 10 Objects” telling the history of their region and its global connections.


BBC Project manager for the Nations and English Regions, Seamus Boyd, said:  “A truly fascinating range of objects has been chosen for each list across English regions. Some of them may have great monetary value, others little or none, but they're priceless in how they bring to life moments from history. This initial collection is just the blueprint to which we hope viewers and listeners will add their own objects and help to create a truly unique and vibrant tapestry of the past.”

The list of 10 objects can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/hampshire