The Bateman Connection

So far Collections in the Landscape has already been active in exploring and interpreting some of the prehistoric monuments of Derbyshire. You can see the results for yourself by visiting The Mysterious Arbor Low.

Of course, we’re not the first to investigate these landscapes. People have been amazed by these mysterious monuments for hundreds of years, culminating in rise of the ‘Barrow Diggers’. We are walking in the footsteps of these 19th-century pioneers and in Derbyshire, no-one was more prolific than Thomas Bateman (1821-1861).

Illustration of Bateman's museum at Lomberdale Hall, Wikimedia Commons.

Illustration of Bateman’s museum at Lomberdale Hall, Wikimedia Commons.

In his short lifetime Bateman excavated over 72 barrows. His second book, Ten Years Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills in the Counties of Derby, Stafford and York, is an impressive and detailed record of his activites.

Bateman amassed a large collection at his home, Lomberdale Hall. On his death, Bateman’s son sold these materials and many were acquired the Sheffield City Museum. This collection is still held by Museums Sheffield, with whom we’ve been pleased to work with as part of the project, it’s great that the Bateman legacy connects our institutions.

Tickets Please! - The object to the bottom right of the flints is a 'Bateman Ticket'. Deposited in the Five Wells tumulus in 1846 by Thomas Bateman. Now on display at the museum.

Tickets Please! – The object to the bottom right of the flints is a ‘Bateman Ticket’. Deposited in the Five Wells tumulus in 1846 by Thomas Bateman. Now on display at the museum.

We looking forward to continuing this partnership in the future, and to take the concept of Collections in the Landscape to other prehistoric sites. Where will Bateman take us next?

You can see an amazing, hand-written original copy of ‘Ten Years Digging…’ at Museum Sheffield’s upcoming exhibition, Drawing the Line.

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