Barrow Dock Museum

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We’ve been intending to check out the Dock Museum in Barrow for quite some time and, last week, finally got around to it.

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It’s a small museum, but it has model boats, which are pretty irresistible,

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…and The Furness Hoard, found locally in 2011 and including Viking, Saxon and Arab coins plus fragments of arm-rings and bracelets, not dissimilar in fact from The Silverdale Hoard.

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Having examined the area’s Viking treasures, you may want to dress the part…

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There are also axe-heads and arrowheads of Langdale stone which were apparently brought to the Barrow area for finishing and polishing.

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A big surprise for me, and a great discovery, was this furniture by the late Tim Stead.

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I’ve not been aware of his work before, but shall be looking out for it in the future. He was one of the artists who built the Millennium Clock, now housed by the National Museum of Scotland, and definitely added to my ‘too see’ list.

Whilst the boys hared around the playground in the museum grounds, I took a quick look at the docks themselves.

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Our trip to the museum was intended to be a precursor to a trip to the Wildlife Trust reserve at the southern end of Walney Island, somewhere I’ve long wanted to visit, much like Foulney Island in fact. But, having had my sutures removed early that morning, I now discovered that everything was not quite going to plan, and we spent the next three hours, or thereabouts, sitting around in A&E at Barrow Infirmary waiting to see what was to be done. Not much, it eventually transpired. Patience is the order of the day apparently. Ho-hum.

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Barrow Dock Museum

A Weekend at Ours II – Hidden Treasures

The afternoon of the Sunday of our ‘at home’ weekend involved a mammoth lunch session and a mass game of cricket. But in the morning we managed to sneak in a short walk.

 The Dude Abides

S decided to ignore the autumnal feel to the weather and dressed for an Hawaiian beach party.

Silverdale is ideal for short strolls with children of all ages. There’s something to entertain around every corner. The kids posed for a photo on a bench on Cove Road…

Almost everybody managed a smile 

And admired the alpacas in a field beside the road.

Then explored the smelly cave at The Cove…

The cave at the Cove 

We crossed the Lots, which have fine views of the Bay and then detoured slightly to the village library, to read the articles about the ‘Silverdale Hoard’ tacked inside the windows.

Last year a local metal-detectorist found a Viking hoard in a field nearby. Coins, arm-bracelets, brooch-fragments and silver ingots all found inside or underneath a soft lead container which had been folded around the treasure like a pasty. It seems it was buried here early in the tenth century. The coins, all silver bar one forgery which has a thin film of silver over cheaper metal, are various: Frankish, Saxon, Arabic and Viking. One coin is of Alfred’s nephew Æthelwold, another of a previously unknown Northumbrian King Harthacnut. Two more were minted in Baghdad.

With heads full of the area’s Viking past (while mine was at least) we followed the ginnel down to Woodwell, where water spouts from the base of a cliff and feeds a shallow pond.

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A path clambers up the cliff and from the top it’s a short walk back to the house and lunch.

The SIlverdale Hoard is currently housed at the British Museum, although it’s hoped that Lancaster Museum will be the eventual home of the find.

Photos of part of the Silverdale Hoard are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/finds/sets/72157628402973283/with/6509648969/

And the British Museum blog has some details here:

http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2011/12/14/two-hoards-and-one-unknown-viking-ruler/

A Weekend at Ours II – Hidden Treasures