08/12/2021 - Permalink

Time running out to see Bronze Age bulla at museum

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Time is running out for people to visit an extraordinary 3,000-year-old sun pendant, or bulla, in a Shropshire museum.

Shropshire Council’s Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is preparing to say farewell to the popular exhibition which has been viewed by more than 15,000 people since it went on display in September. It draws to a close on Sunday.

Emma-Kate Lanyon, curator of the exhibition, said: “The sun pendant has drawn a crowd of around 15,000 people to the museum since it first went on display in September.

“It has been a pleasure hosting such a significant collection through the British Museum.  It has been especially exciting to see the sun pendant, which was discovered in Shropshire, alongside other important Bronze Age finds from the county. It has truly sparked people’s curiosity.”

Discovered in May 2018 by a metal detectorist Bob Greenaway, a retired engineer from Oswestry, nothing like the sun pendant had been found in this country for more than a century.

The sun pendant is more than 3,000 years old, dating between 1000–800BC in the late Bronze Age period. The elegant form and intricate decoration of the gold pendant includes an exceptionally rare depiction of the sun – not previously seen on objects found in Britain.

Measuring 3.6cm high and 4.7cm wide, this bulla is only the second ever found in Britain. The other Irton bulla – now lost – was discovered near Manchester in 1722 and only known from a picture.

The sun pendant is on display alongside seven separate prehistoric hoards discovered in north Shropshire which have recently been secured by Shropshire Museums following a crowdfunding campaign and support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society (Pagett and Betton Fund) and The Friends of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

“Gathering light: A Bronze Age golden sun” exhibition closes at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday, 12 December.

It is due to go on display at the British Museum as a key object in the forthcoming “World of Stonehenge” exhibition which opens in February 2022.