A Life In Fragments

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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Blandford Town Museum

Blandford Town Museum


Blandford Town Museum consists of one long room, which stretches the length of the old coach house it’s set in. You’re immediately met with friendly faces as you step inside and left to your own devices to explore however you please. Blandford is one of those wonderful little museums that is overflowing with stuff and everytime you turn a corner you see and learn so much. Several display cases present the wealth of prehistoric and Roman material from around Blandford, either accumulated by antiquarians or found in recent excavations.


There and Back Again: A Tale of Visiting Dorset

Despite having lived in Devon for the last six years and having had a Dorset born-and-bred girlfriend for three of those, my general knowledge and experience of Dorset is actually shamefully poor. Because of this, sourcing museums that might have Bronze Age metal artefacts has relied a lot on word-of-mouth (special thanks go out to Kate Verkooijen and Robyn for answering my pitiful question: “so what are the big towns in Dorset?”) and last week, armed with my trusty camera, a set of calipers and my steadily-dying laptop, I crossed the border from Devon into Dorset to explore the treasures held at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum (RCAGM), Bournemouth, and Blandford Town Museum… (more…)

5 objects down, only c.2995 left to go…

Yes, you read that right. My PhD entails looking at about 3000 metal objects that have been discovered across South West Britain.

Why am I doing this again? (Courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme)

Why am I doing this again?
(Courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme)


Allhallows Museum, Honiton, Devon


When I tell people there’s a museum in Honiton, they stare at me blankly. But I promise you there is one. It’s run entirely by the good nature of volunteers and is set in what I think used to be a chapel next to St. Paul’s Church. Like TEHM, it specialises largely in the history or Honiton and it’s overflowing with stuff. Honiton is particularly famous for lace-making and as a Museum info video will tell you people travel from all over the world to visit it, so perhaps the reason most (more…)


One of the best things about this PhD is that I get to visit loads of museums and call it work. Almost every museum welcomes me in warmly, offers me a cup of tea (and even a biscuit sometimes!), a space to work and then lets me wander around freely afterwards. Many of them are tiny local museums, which people have never come across before, so here I’m going to give a brief account of the museums I visit and what they have to offer, and hopefully encourage anyone reading this to go check them out for themselves 🙂

Totnes Elizabethan House Museum

Allhallows Museum, Honiton

Blandford Town Museum

Red House Museum and Gardens, Christchurch

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

Tea: check. Witty archaeology pun on a mug: double check.

Tea: check. Witty archaeology pun on a mug: double check.

Totnes Elizabethan House Museum, Devon


Totnes Elizabethan House Museum (or TEHM because i freakin’ love acronyms) is a little gem in South Devon. The museum is set within a 16th century Merchant House, making it a really quaint personable museum (complete with its own herb garden out the back!) Understandably its collections are largely not prehistoric though there’s some Neolithic flint cores and axeheads for anyone interested (and (more…)

The First Fragment

Yes, I have jumped on the 2005 bandwagon and begun a blog! I’m hoping to do a mixture of things with this, the most important of which being to try and make my PhD accessible for anyone interested, whilst also keeping a self-indulgent record for myself of what I am achieving, even when it feels like it’s going nowhere – this is a frequent concern amongst PhD students! (It will also hopefully give a point of reference to those of my friends and family who frequently forget what it is I’m actually doing with my life!)

So for all those who are wondering what it is I do… (more…)