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Museum volunteers take history on the road

Chelmsford Museum is gearing up to get its volunteers back on the road for a series of videos investigating the history on our doorsteps.

The lifting of restrictions as the country comes out of lockdown means the museum’s dedicated team of volunteers will be turning their hands to presenting once more.

Museum Volunteer Steve Davey Presenting A Film On The Broomfield Burial
Museum volunteer Steve Davey presenting a film on the Broomfield Burial

Chelmsford’s Anglo-Saxon past investigated

In December, volunteer Steve Davey investigated the story of the Broomfield Burial – an important Anglo-Saxon grave discovered in the late 19th century.

It’s thought the high-status individual buried here would have been a prominent member of the ruling elite; maybe even a member of the Essex royal family of the 7th century.

Although the story of this prince laid to rest just off Broomfield’s Main Road has never been forgotten, it’s recently been given a new lease of life with dedicated gallery space in Chelmsford Museum.

Artefacts from princely burial now in city’s museum

In 2019, the British Museum sent many of the finds from Broomfield, including an iron sword, an iron lamp and gold and garnet jewellery back to Chelmsford.

Some of the finds were very similar to artefacts found at the famous burials at Sutton Hoo and Prittlewell, giving curators intriguing leads about the networks of power operating in the Anglo-Saxon period.

Finds From The Broomfield Burial On Display At Chelmsford Museum
Finds from the Broomfield Burial on display at Chelmsford Museum

Steve Davey says investigating the city’s past for Chelmsford Museum has opened up his interest in this era.

“I didn’t know much about the Anglo-Saxons before I started doing research for this project and I really enjoyed finding out more. I hope this film reminds people about the fascinating history that can be found all over Chelmsford and changes a few minds about what we think of as the Dark Ages as well.”

Steve Davey, Chelmsford Museum volunteer
A Princely Anglo Saxon Grave Was Found In Broomfield In The Late 19Th Century
A princely Anglo-Saxon grave was found in Broomfield in the late 19th century

More history films coming soon

Steve, who is the Essex coordinator for The Battlefields Trust, is planning to put his new-found interest in Anglo-Saxon history to good use researching battles in the county that took place before the Norman conquest of the 11th century.

To watch his film about the Broomfield Burial, go to the Chelmsford Museum website and keep an eye out for the next instalment of On The Road for more revelations about the city’s past.

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.