This month's news from WANHS
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Museum Attendance Creating New Records
Wiltshire Museum is the county’s second most popular museum according to TripAdvisor, the online travel review web site.
The creation of the new galleries has succeeded in attracting some of the many thousands of people who come to Wiltshire each year to visit Stonehenge and Avebury. The major exhibitions in the Museum’s galleries have attracted a record breaking number of visitors this year.  Gold from the Time of Stonehenge and Exploring the Mystery and Beauty of Crop Circles have both proved, independently, to be significant attractions with AA special event yellow signposts directing visitors to the Museum Together with The Story of Devizes exhibition there has been something for everyone.

Gold from the Time of Stonehenge
Since the four new galleries were opened by Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, on 14 October 2014, the exhibition has regularly made the headlines most noticeably on 11 April 2014 with the visit of Princess Anne.  The galleries complete with multimedia displays, important prehistoric artefacts and informative reconstructions have impressed visitors.

The Story of Devizes Exhibition
uses objects from the Museum's collections to tell the story of the town's history and its development from the foundation of the Medieval castle to the present day with visitors recalling their use.  This exhibition, which opened in June, complements that in the Recent History Gallery.  More information can be found on the Museum’s website.  Normal admission charges apply.

Devizes at War:
A Tour of the Town Led by John Girvan
On Sunday 14 September there will be an opportunity to learn how the War effected the Town and its people.  This event carries a £5 per person charge and early booking is essential as John’s other events have attracted strong attendances. Information about how you can pay to reserve your place can be found on the events web page.
Why We Went to War Devizes in the Great War
This exhibition, opening on 15 September will be looking at why Britain went to War in 1914 and how Devizes recruited hundreds of men to serve in the conflict ahead.  It will include artefacts, photographs and as a star attraction, our very own War Horse, used to train mounted soldiers at Devizes barracks. Normal admission charges will apply.. 
WANHM/AGM/Trilithon Mailing Rescheduled
We have decided to move the AGM from Saturday 11th to the Saturday 25th October.  The trustees have been reviewing the Articles of Association which govern the running of the Society.  The Articles have not been reviewed for over ten years and there were some changes we wished to make and others brought on us by changes in the law.  The change in date of the AGM will allow this to be completed and presented to members for approval.  With our annual magazine WANHM already running late we decided to combine the two mailings and the bumper package of WANHM, Trilithon including ‘What’s On’ and the AGM papers will be sent out in mid September to reach you by the end of the month at the latest.
Will now commence at 2.30pm on Saturday 25 October at Devizes Town Hall.  It will be followed by a special lecture, The Lacock Cup, by Lloyd Debeer.   The lecture will be free for WANHS members and £6 for non-members.  Further details will be in the Trilithon to be circulated later this month, now being included in the forthcoming WANHM mailing.

Littlecote House – An Own Car Outing

Littlecote House is a large Elizabethan Country House and estate covering parts of the parishes of Ramsbury and Chilton Foliat  near Hungerford. The estate includes 34 hectares of historic parklands and gardens, including a walled Garden from the 17th and 18th centuries. In its grounds is Littlecote Roman Villa with its impressive mosaics.  The House is owned by Warner Leisure who operate it as a hotel and for this reason children will not be allowed to take part in the outing which will take place at 10.45am on Saturday 4 October.  The guided tour will take 1 to 1¼ hours and information about how you can reserve your place is on the event’s web page.  
Meet the Staff:
Lisa Brown, Curator
Lisa’s association with the Museum started at the age of 17, when she worked with the then Curator, Dr Paul Robinson, as an A-level placement student. A year later, she enrolled as an archaeology undergraduate at Southampton University. In 1998 she graduated with a BA (Hons) degree. Lisa then went on to gain a Masters degree in Museum Studies from Leicester University. In 2001 she was appointed Assistant to the Curator at Longleat House, where she worked until 2004, when she left to take up the post of 
Documentation Officer at Wiltshire Museum. In 2005 Lisa was made Assistant Curator and promoted to Curator in 2008. Her biggest achievement is completing the Museum’s five year documentation project. All of the Museum’s collections are now catalogued and available for search online. The database comprises more than 100,000 records for objects in all of the Museum's collections, along with 9,000 accompanying images.
She is currently working on the new Saxon Gallery displays, which will open to the public later this year.
Lisa lives in Purton with her husband David and their two year old daughter Charlotte.
Volunteer Lecture & Events Organiser Wanted
The Museum is looking to recruit a Volunteer who would be willing to undertake the organising of lectures and outings for Museum members for 2014 – 15 onwards.
This role will involve:
  • Locating suitable venues
  • Running outings to events and exhibitions
  • Contacting potential speakers for lectures at the Museum
We are also recruiting a smaller group of volunteers to assist the lecture and events organiser with arranging lectures and events.
Full training and support will be provided.
Please contact Heather Ault, for more details and a Volunteer Application form.  Telephone: 01380 727369 or email:

Devizes Heritage Day
Saturday 13 September 2014

On Wiltshire Heritage Day historic buildings in the town will be open to the public. The Museum will be open from 10.00am to 17.00pm and, on this day only, visitors will not have to pay for entrance. Other buildings that will be open include four of the town’s churches (St John the Baptist, St James’, St Mary’s and St Peter’s), plus the Masonic Hall, the Town Lockup and Wyndhams.
Teaching History – Working with the British Museum
The new primary History Curriculum includes prehistory, and teachers have been coming to the Museum to find 
 more about our collections and for help in teaching this new topic. Our Bush Barrow mace has been chosen for the new British Museum Teaching History in 100 Objects website, launched on 2 September. To support local schools, we have developed a ‘Journeys through Prehistory’ Teachers Pack, which is full of information and resources. The pack has been sent to all schools in the County and is available free on our website -

Walking The Dead 
Exploring the Stonehenge
Ceremonial Landscape with David Dawson
This event has proved to be very popular.  This will be the sixth guided tour of the amazing Museum collections followed by an accompanied walk from Durrington Walls to Stonehenge. This full day tour, led by Museum Director, David Dawson on Saturday 20 September 2014. The walk was featured by Sophie Campbell in an article in the Daily Telegraph Travel section and has proved to be immensely popular. 
This is the final opportunity to go on the tour this year so if you would like to take it then book quickly as numbers are limited.   For more information about this full day event go to the Walking the Dead web page where you can book online.  Members get a £5 discount on the £40 tour charge.
The Archaeology of Mass Destruction
An Investigation into the Cold War and its Legacy

Starting on 8 October WANHS autumn evening course w1th Bob Clarke will investigate the Cold War from an archaeological perspective, looking at the many sites across the UK and questioning their relevance to our understanding of the last 50 years of the 20th Century. Further information about the six lectures and field trip can be found on the course’s web site where you can also pay online.
Digital Landscape Photography Workshop
A short introduction for those who want to do more than “point and shoot” with their digital camera. Run by local landscape photographer Alan Cowley (, it will help you move on from auto mode and then to learn the basics of digital image editing. The first day will be spent out in the local landscape shooting the best possible images. The second, will be at Alan’s Studio in Roundway where you will produce A4 sized prints for display in the Museum. This course which will take place on Saturday 27 and Saturday 4 October from 10.30am. As there are just 6 places advance booking is essential, contact the Museum on 01380 727369.  The cost for the course I £100 (£80 for Members.)  
News from the Archive and Library September 2014
Library Volunteer Peter Melsom has now finished cataloguing and scanning the collection of glass negatives, 147 in the Kearley collection of photographs found in the cellar of the former Wiltshire Gazette and Herald Office in Devizes, and 109 in another collection which we have decided to call the Sloper Collection.  While are not sure that the latter were taken by, or belonged to, a member of the Devizes Sloper family, we think this likely: the box in which they came to us has ‘Sloper’ marked on the top and on the photographs. We believe some of the pictures are family members. They should all be added to the on-line catalogue around the end of October.
Among the pictures in the Sloper Collection is this church organ decorated with flowers for a festival or wedding. 
 Can anyone identify the organ and church? Is it possibly the former organ in St John’s, Devizes?  If you know please tell us at
There have not been very many book acquisitions in recent months but we have added the programmes for this year’s Devizes Carnival and the Edington Music Festival. We have received four archaeological reports, two of further investigations on the outskirts of the Roman villa at Box, and two watching briefs, one during the installation of underground cables at West Lavington and the other during building work in Edward Street, Westbury.