Katharine Searle-Barnes from Malmesbury School was with us recently, completing her  work experience. She writes here about two items which were special to her…

If I were to pick my favourite item in Salisbury Museum it would be the harpsichord in the ceramics gallery. Although it is under restoration at present, this magnificent instrument is on display for all to admire.

The harpsichord is beautifully decorated with an illustration of an outdoor party. It is an enchanting image with a jolly orchestra serenading several guests, all dressed in their finery. A green landscape surrounds the gathering, and looking at the picture whilst the sun streams in through the French windows really makes for a magical visit.

The ivory keys have been well preserved, and are longing to be played again by tender hands. The wood that encases the keys is covered with another painted decorations to give it a proper finish, while the emerald green coat shimmers in the sun.


Another item I enjoyed looking at were the soles from the slippers worn by a little girl buried in a sarcophagus during Roman Britain. Seeing them just puts things into perspective; you realise people in the past have not just vanished into history, they were in fact just as real as you and I.

Some people may argue that historians shouldn’t display personal items once someone is dead without their permission. However under these circumstances I disagree because it gives an insight into what life was like for our ancestors as well as making it easier for people to imagine.

A visit to any museum is enhanced if we have a focus. Do you have a special item, or perhaps a particular gallery, we can highlight for  others to enjoy? Let us know!