IT’S a film that has been 2,000 years in the making and has uncovered the secrets of Godmanchester’s Roman past.
Inspired by the ITV series Britain’s Secret Treasures, a historian who helps run Godmanchester’s Porch Museum has put together the film Godmanchester’s Secret Roman Treasures.
Kate Hadley enlisted the help of pupils at Godmanchester Community and St Anne’s Primary Schools with the film, and convinced collectors from around Godmanchester to allow their private collections to be captured in photographs.
Her hard work allowed the museum to build up a collection of about 300 pictures of Roman artefacts, including pottery, brooches and coins, each found in the town.
She said: “I knew that various people had been collecting loads of things but I didn’t expect them to be so beautiful or so important. Real treasures have emerged from the project, including a world class figurine of a horse, dating from the second century.”
She added: “The idea came to me when I was working as a dyslexia teacher at St Anne’s. On the curriculum is Roman Britain and I thought why aren’t they learning about Roman Godmanchester.
“The idea is to enable people to access these artefacts easily, as it’s their heritage – they belong to the people of Huntingdonshire.”
Time Team expert Stephen Upex provided the voiceover and to launch the film he is holding a surgery at the Porch Museum, in Queen Elizabeth School, at 3pm on August 26, and will identify items brought to him on the day.
To help residents find treasures in their gardens Mrs Hadley has offered a few tips: “Archaeologists say if you go out into your garden in Godmanchester with a trowel then you will find something. The things to look for are dark grey or black pieces of pottery. With the black pieces look for oval or straight patterns that might look like scratches. Look for glass from drink receptacles or windows, builders’ weights, or dark red pottery which could be Samian-ware and very valuable. You can even look on country walks on the verges where you can find coins and brooches that have come from ploughed fields.
“Keep it to one side and look at it closely. You can then bring it to be identified by Stephen Upex.”
INFORMATION: The DVD will be used to teach students about Godmanchester’s history. Porch Museum will be open on August 12, 26 and 27.