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Hannah Turton cropped

Work experience at the Salisbury museum – Hanah Turton

From Monday 4 June to Saturday 9 June 2018 I participated in work experience at Salisbury Museum. The experience has helped develop my understanding and knowledge of history in the Salisbury area.

The volunteers were extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating. The opportunity to talk to a variety of volunteers with different interests contributed a broad range of information about artefacts, archaeology and architecture. We also had the opportunity to delve into some of the costume collection with the help of one of the volunteers. Having access to the costume stores was so enthralling, especially when seeing all the beautiful lace wedding dresses and accessories.

In addition to the magnificence of the costume archive, we were able to participate in National Volunteers’ Week at Salisbury Museum and attended a variety of activities including a ceramics talk; and visits to Mompesson house, Arundells, Salisbury Cathedral library and archive and Wessex Archaeology. The week was full of so many interesting activities and events, all due to the organising and planning of the Salisbury Museum.

While here, Hanah was asked what was her favourite object…

The Old Sarum Kettle was first highlighted to me by volunteer Paul Marsh whilst on a spotlight tour of the museum. This first account of the peculiar object ignited a fascination in its origin and history. The earthenware ceramic pot is a peculiar shape that contrasts immensely with the modern-day kettle. By delving into the information and resources that the museum provides, I was able to gain a detailed explanation of what made this kettle so riveting.  Due to the advancement of technology, it is possible to accurately identify where the kettle originated. It did not come from the medieval City of Salisbury but the North African country of Morocco! The Old Sarum Kettle was first introduced to Watson’s of Salisbury in the 19th Century, and he presumed the kettle to have been from Old Sarum, oblivious to the true origin. Thereafter, Watson’s of Salisbury commissioned Doulton of Lambeth to recreate and mass produce the “Old Sarum” Kettle. Over 140,000 “Old Sarum” kettles were sold by Watson’s of Salisbury between 1889 and 1921. One copy of the Old Sarum Kettle is a small porcelain kettle that displays Salisbury City’s coat of arms which was created by W.H Goss (this is also on display at the Salisbury museum alongside various other imitations).

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An Old Sarum Kettle