Image © Museum of London Docklands.
There are treasure trails, and then there are TREASURE trails. The kids will go doolally if you promise to take them to see the largest bronze-age hoard ever found in London. It’s at Museum of London Docklands from now until April 2021 -- and, despite the cultural riches on offer, it’s free to visit.
The Havering Hoard was discovered only two years ago, in September 2018, at a site beside the Thames in Rainham. It contains 453 objects, including “axe heads, spearheads, fragments of swords, daggers and knives, alongside some other unusual objects rarely found in the UK”.
The hoard is a bit of a mystery. Why were so many objects, mostly weapons, buried together. Were they hidden for safekeeping, buried as part of some kind of offering, or were they simply discarded as better technology came along -- much as today we’d take an old TV to the recycling centre after buying a new flatscreen HD? Nobody knows.
It’s also an educational display, shedding light on our local predecessors from almost 3,000 years ago, with maps, videos and additional objects from the museum’s collection.
We’ve never yet been disappointed by an exhibition at Museum of London Docklands. They specialise in putting on small but fascinating (and free) exhibitions on little-known aspects of London’s watery past. The Havering Hoard looks set to be another treasure of a show for all the family to enjoy.
The Havering Hoard is at Museum of London Docklands (Canary Wharf) until 18 April 2021. Entrance is free as part of the prebooked free ticket to the wider museum.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.