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Historic Guildford Artefacts to Feature in Turner Contemporary Exhibition

Published on: 26 May, 2016
Updated on: 27 May, 2016
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Catriona Wilson, collections officer at Guildford Museum with the artefacts

Two important historic objects will travel from their home at Guildford Museum to Turner Contemporary, Margate to feature in an exciting exhibition this summer.

A late Neolithic flint disc knife and a wheel from a Wanborough Roman head-dress will be on display at the prestigious gallery in the Seeing Round Corners exhibition. This is the first UK exhibition to explore how artists have responded to the circle, disc or sphere.

Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith, Lead Councillor for Internal Business Systems, Heritage and the Arts said: “We are pleased to work with Surrey Archaeological Society, the artists and Turner Contemporary to loan these two important items. Turner Contemporary attracts a high number of visitors and the loan will enable a wide audience to see these interesting historic artefacts from our local area.”

The exhibition is curated by artists David Ward and Jonathan Parsons and will showcase more than 100 items. It will focus on works by historical and contemporary artists and will feature paintings, drawings, sculpture, film, photography and performance in addition to historic artefacts.

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David Bird of Surrey Archaeological Society added: “It is interesting to see that these ancient objects can not only attract an audience in a museum setting, but also have a role to play in a contemporary display. The loan of items to other museums and galleries enables more people to enjoy them and see the value of the collections held by Guildford Museum and our Society.”

The flint disc knife is one of around 30 from our historic county. It was used for activities such as skinning animals. However, its elaborate design may indicate an element of prestige.

The wheel from a Wanborough head-dress is part of a nationally important collection of ritual objects from the site. The wheel motif is a sun symbol and these head-dresses appear to be unique survivals from Roman Britain, with no similar objects yet found anywhere else in the Empire. Surrey Archaeological Society led the excavations to rescue this and many other items from the Wanborough site.

The exhibition will run until Sunday 25 September. For more information visit

For information on Guildford Museum, its own exhibitions and opening times, visit

To find out more about the work of Surrey Archaeological Society, visit

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Responses to Historic Guildford Artefacts to Feature in Turner Contemporary Exhibition

  1. John Oliver Reply

    May 29, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    What a happy photograph. Obviously enjoys her job!

  2. Stephen Callender Reply

    May 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Details of the Roman Temple site and a replica of the ‘Wheeled Head-dress’ are to be found in the new exhibition in the huge 14th century Great Barn of Wanborough – the oldest wooden building in Surrey still standing. Open this Saturday 4 June from 2-5pm. Free entry.

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