Roman gold boosts museum visitor numbers

VISITOR numbers at a Thetford museum have been boosted by more than 40pc - thanks a collection of precious Roman gold jewellery and silver spoons.Officials at Ancient House spoke of their delight last week after the Tudor town house received more than 1,400 extra guests compared to the same five-month period last year.

VISITOR numbers at a Thetford museum have been boosted by more than 40pc - thanks a collection of precious Roman gold jewellery and silver spoons.

Officials at Ancient House spoke of their delight last week after the Tudor town house received more than 1,400 extra guests compared to the same five-month period last year.

Curator Oliver Bone said the 44pc increase in visitors was mainly down to the Thetford Treasure, which has been on loan from the British Museum since May.

The priceless collection of gold bracelets, necklaces, pendants, rings and silver spoons and strainers, which date back to between 380 and 390AD, were discovered in the town nearly 30 years ago and are set to be on display at the museum in White Hart Street until December 12.


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Mr Bone said that more people would get a chance to see the Thetford Treasure from Monday when Ancient House is open for free admission during the winter months.

Figures show that 4,560 people visited the museum between May and September compared to the 3,151 during the same period last year.

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“Senior management at the museums service are really pleased with the performance of Ancient House and it is great to see extra visitors making use of the facility. The response to the Thetford Treasure has been very good,” said Mr Bone.

The museum's changing displays space is set to be transformed in the New Year into an exhibition remembering Thetford's 1950s and 1960s London overspill scheme, before being turned into a display on Thomas Paine in June next year to coincide with a series of public events to mark the bicentenary of the famous author's death.

Ancient House is also staging “Knit and Knatter” workshops over the coming months to help knit 200 mittens as part

of the Tom Paine celebrations.

Thetford's most famous son donated the proceeds of his 1776 pamphlet Common Sense to buy mittens for soldiers.

Contact the museum on 01842 752599.

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