This piece was written by Jamie Dutton, a student from Brine Leas School, Nantwich when he did work experience at Nantwich Museum. What would your top five favourite objects at Nantwich Museum be?
5. Roman Lead Salt Pan
This Pan was found in Nantwich in 1981 and was used by the Romans to boil brine in order to produce salt.
The inscription under the side seems to record the name of the man who leased the salt works from the Roman Imperial Authority.
The salter has a British name, ‘Cunitus’: the lessee has a Roman name, ‘Tiberius Claudius Er…’
4. Pikeman’s Helm
Nantwich was an important town during the 17th century, particularly as a centre of communications. The town of Nantwich was mostly parliamentarian during the civil war in 1643. Sir William Brereton, Parliamentarian’s commander in Cheshire used Nantwich as his Headquarters.
In January 1644, Lord John Byron, commanding a Royalist army began to besiege Nantwich. The Parliamentarians defeated the Royalists and chased them into Acton Church. They soon surrendered.
3. ‘Jockey Up’-1781
This is the only known depiction of Nantwich races and it represents a little known aspect of the town’s history. On 10th July 1781, Perdita won the ‘Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Purse’ of £50.
Look carefully at the painting and you can see Perdita approaching the finishing post with two other horses behind her.
The galloping horses are depicted with their legs outstretched. This was an unusual way of painting galloping horses until the 1870s when the photographer, Eadweard Muybridge used film to study the motion of galloping horses when it became usual for artists to pain horses like this.
2. Hurleston Brooch
This solid gold brooch found in Hurleson dates from the late 13th century to early 14th century. It was highly decorative and would have been worn to signify the status of its owner. It would also have served the practical purpose of fastening garments.
1. The Salt Ship
In 2003, archaeologists made an exciting discovery in the muddy layers beneath Second Wood Street, Welsh Row in Nantwich. The Salt ship was a container to store brine (salt water) in one of the wich houses in medieval Nantwich. It held around 1240 litres – that’s 273 gallons or 2184 pints! The ship was cut into three pieces so that it could be preserved. The whole ship was 7.6m long and 0.6-0.9m diameter and is around 750 years old. It came from a local wood or hedgerow and was made for the owner of a wich house. The branches were cut off and the inside hollowed out. Axe marks can be seen as evidence of this.