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Things to do in Gloucestershire this Christmas

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Learn more about the mysterious 2,000 year old ‘Mirror of Birdlip’

‘Mirror of Birdlip’

The Museum of Gloucester is inviting members of the public to join in on December’s ‘Culture Club’ and learn about the mystery behind the Birdlip Mirror, the largest prehistoric bronze mirror ever found.

There are many mysteries behind the Birdlip Mirror and on 7th December between 1:10pm-1:50pm, David Rice the curator at Gloucester Museum, will be discussing its history and revealing the little known facts that help shape its importance.

The mysterious mirror was discovered accidently in the summer of 1879 by a road mender called Joseph Barnfield in Birdlip. It is one of only 60 found in the world and, based on its appearance, belonged to a wealthy owner.

When it was discovered almost 140 years ago, it wasn’t buried alone. A young woman, who is assumed to be the owner, and two men were in its grave. This indicates that it must have been a greatly treasured possession.

Its true significance is unknown and there are many mysteries surrounding the people it was buried with. Decembers ‘Culture Club’ will explore these unknowns and discuss why its discovery is important to Gloucester.

Cllr Lise Noakes, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “The Birdlip mirror is a great mystery, yet can tell us so much about our city almost 2,000 years ago. Not only is it a beautiful piece of Celtic art, but it is also a fascinating story.”

David Rice, curator at Gloucester Museum, said: “After 140 years this mirror is still one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in Gloucestershire. Tales of a princess or priestess, sacrifice and shamanism have been told about its unique burial, and on 7th December we’ll be separating the facts from the myths.”

To take part in the ‘Culture Club’ and learn more about the mysterious Birdlip mirror, tickets must be purchased. Adult tickets are £5, concessions £3 and members are able to attend free of charge. Tickets can be pre-booked by emailing or calling 01452 396131.

The mirror and a reconstructed version of the head of the lady it was buried with are on permanent display at the Museum of Gloucester.

Explore Gloucestershire
8 October 2016


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