One of the most significant archaeological finds in Britain is to return to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery as part of the upcoming Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition (www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk), which opens on Saturday 8 April 2017.
The Crosby Garrett helmet, named after the village near Kirkby Stephen where it was discovered in May 2010, will join other unique Roman cavalry objects in the wall-wide exhibition that stretches the full 150 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site area – from Maryport in the west to South Shields in the east.
Andrew Mackay, Director of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery said: "The opportunity to once again display the Crosby Garrett helmet is really special; it is truly a breath-taking reminder of our Roman heritage. It will provide the icing on the cake for visitors to experience a series of major exhibitions featuring nationally important artefacts that explain the compelling story of Hadrian's Cavalry."
The Crosby Garrett helmet first went on display at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in 2013 attracting more than 20,000 visitors. Now it will be a major highlight of the five-month Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition, which celebrates the cavalry regiments that once guarded the famous North West frontier of the mighty Roman Empire. The exhibition features other iconic Roman Cavalry helmets on loan from national and international museums including two Ribchester style helmets which will be displayed together for the very first time at the Great North Museum: Hancock, a complete Butzbach style helmet which will be displayed at Segedunum and a helmet from the Roman fort at Newstead in Scotland which will be displayed at Vindolanda.
The national and international museums supporting the exhibition and providing loans include the British Museum, National Museums Scotland, the Musee d’Art Classique de Mougins (France), Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg / Limes Museum, Aalen, the Archaeological State Collection, Munich and the Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart (Germany).
Bill Griffiths, head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and chair of the Hadrian’s Cavalry steering group, said: “The inclusion of the Crosby Garrett helmet alongside other unique objects from so many different museums across Europe really emphasises that the Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition is a once in a lifetime experience.
“Never before have people had the opportunity to see this many iconic Roman cavalry objects.”
Hadrian’s Cavalry takes place at 10 museums and heritage attractions along Hadrian’s Wall from Saturday 8 April to Sunday 10 September 2017. In addition to the wall-wide exhibition, Bitts Park in Carlisle will host two days of Roman cavalry re-enactments on 1 and 2 July. 30 Roman cavalrymen - a turma or troop - will come together for the first time in almost 2,000 years at ‘Turma! Hadrian’s Cavalry Charge in Carlisle’.
The 10 museums and heritage attractions taking part in Hadrian’s Cavalry are:
• Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum (South Shields)
• Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum (Wallsend)
• Great North Museum: Hancock (Newcastle upon Tyne)
English Heritage venues:
• Corbridge Roman Town and Museum (Corbridge, Northumberland)
• Chesters Roman Fort and Museum (Chollerford, Northumberland)
• Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum (Haydon Bridge, Northumberland)
• Roman Vindolanda (Bardon Mill, near Hexham)
• Roman Army Museum (Greenhead, Northumberland)
• Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery (Carlisle, Cumbria)
• Senhouse Roman Museum (Maryport, Cumbria)
The Crosby Garrett Helmet would have originally been used as part of the Roman Cavalry turma events known as Hippika Gymnasia, or 'horse games'. The helmet shows a youth wearing a type of hat called a 'Phrygian cap'. In Roman art, this type of hat was used to identify the wearer as a Trojan. The beautiful and youthful face has suggested to archaeologists that the mask represents Paris, the youngest of the princes of Troy. It is the first and, at present, only example of a Trojan Roman cavalry helmet.
The Crosby Garrett Helmet will be shown alongside an example of a Greek-style and Amazon-style mask at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery during Hadrian’s Cavalry.
For more information visit www.hadrianscavalry.co.uk