Gold in Wiltshire Museum

By Emma Kirkup

VisitWiltshire have run several joint-instameets with our friends Igerswiltshire. It’s an opportunity for like-minded photographers, whether using a smart phone or DSLR to get together, share ideas and get creative.

Our fourth instameet of the year was set to be in the market town of Devizes, in the heart of Wiltshire and this time it would coincide with the national Heritage Open Days event.

We were kindly invited by Wiltshire Museum to begin our meet there. Catching up over a quick cuppa, we soon warmed up and got out of the rain outside as we were given an introduction to the museum, and some of the key items in the collection by the museum director, David Dawson.

Our first visit was to the archaeology gallery where various artefacts from around the time of Stonehenge can be seen, including some very beautiful gold items. After David highlighted some of the most important pieces, we were free to roam and take photos, getting close ups of intricate jewellery and other finds.

Devizes instameet

Being a Heritage Open Day, the museum was free of charge and there were quite a few people exploring. As part of this event, there was also the chance to go behind the scenes and into the museum’s cellar where various archives are kept. I always love getting to see areas that aren’t usually open to the public (I guess I must be nosy!) and from what I overheard, the others in the group welcomed this opportunity too.

After making our ways around the rest of the museum including the local history section and the WW1 exhibition, we gathered to make the short walk to Wadworth Brewery.

The brewery sits pride of place in Devizes and dominates the skyline with its impressive Victorian façade. The locals are very proud of Wadworth and the fact that many traditions are kept alive there including the delivery of the beers by the brewery’s three resident Shire horses. On this occasion we didn’t have the chance to go on a full brewery tour however we did get to meet Monty, Max and Archie in their stables (very wisely sheltering from the rain) and to see some of their show drays.

Wadworth Brewery, Devizes

After a spot of lunch in one of Wadworth’s pubs, we braved the rain and explored more of the town, popping into a couple of the quirky antiques shops and into a shop that makes things like table lamps out of recycled PlayStations.

The Lockhouse, Devizes

We then ventured to the rear of the Town Hall as the town’s Lockup was opened up for Heritage Open Days. The Lockup was used to imprison the town’s troublemakers overnight and dates from 1806. It contained a cell and a very basic loo – i.e. a hole and a shovel, cue lots of jokes from the group! There was a local historian on hand to tell stories about the Lockup. After this I must make sure I always behave in Devizes, I wouldn’t want to be locked up there!

We then wandered along some of the lanes towards St Peter’s Church and looked towards the castle and where the railway line used to run before we ventured up Morris Lane to The Masonic Hall.

It was interesting to be able to see inside a Masonic Hall and to hear about some of the history of the lodge.

A great day out to make time to explore some of Devizes’ history, it’s just a shame the weather didn’t behave slightly better as I would have liked to spend some more time by heading to Caen Hill Locks (on the Kennet & Avon Canal) and up to Roundway Hill.

Keep an eye out for future meets that we’ll be running with Igerswiltshire by registering on Meetup and don’t forget to check out #igersstrikegoldindevizes to see some of the photos captured by the group on the weekend.

Related

Devizes
Town
Devizes Market Place

Looking to visit the amazing town of Devizes?...If so, click here to get the latest Devizes tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!

Wiltshire Museum
Museum
Neolithic Axe Display

Discover gold from the time of Stonehenge, find out more about ancient Wiltshire, including the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. Plus displays and exhibitions exploring the history of Wiltshire from earliest times to the present.

Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre
Brewery
Wadworth Brewery

Family friendly, self guided Visitor Centre and interactive exhibition – Free entry On-site Sample bar with five cask ales on draught. 1/3 pint samples can be purchased. Traditional pub games are available to play in the bar.

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