A new special exhibition at Hereford Cathedral is the culmination of a year of research into discoveries made during recent restoration work on St John’s Walk. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project has unearthed some surprising stories and fascinating artefacts.
‘We knew that the restoration of St John’s Walk would be an interesting project, but little did we know how much we would find out about the history of the cathedral’ said Rosemary Firman, Cathedral Librarian. ‘The archaeological remains have given us new insights into the people who lived and worked here in the past. The exhibition is an opportunity for locals and visitors from elsewhere to get close to our own history in a way we’ve not done before.’
She added, ‘We have been able to use the discoveries to compare with items in our own collection, and bring rare objects out on display. These include JMW Turner’s watercolour of St John’s Walk, painted in 1793, and recently conserved artefacts from the tomb of Gilbert de Swinfield, Chancellor of the Cathedral, who died in 1299.’
As well as the artefacts found during the excavations, human bones were discovered from burials in St John’s Walk. Some of these bones will be in the exhibition, giving insights into some of the diseases which affected our ancestors, and are still experienced today.
The special exhibition runs from 12 September to 31 December within the Hereford Cathedral Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition and is open Monday to Saturday. Standard admission charges apply. Please see the cathedral website for times and costs.