Rare 1,400 year old Anglo-Saxon artefacts go on display in Hartlepool: But where can you see them

Key finds at the Hartlepool exhibition include three recently discovered 'namestones' - commemorative carvings that bear the names of Anglo-Saxons who lived through the height of the Viking raids.
Key finds at the Hartlepool exhibition include three recently discovered 'namestones' - commemorative carvings that bear the names of Anglo-Saxons who lived through the height of the Viking raids.

A collection of rare Anglo-Saxon stone sculptures unique to the North East are going on display in Hartlepool for the first time.

Etched in Stone: Anglo-Saxons in the North East is a new, interactive exhibition being hosted at St Hilda's Church, on the Headland in Hartlepool.

The exhibition Etched in Stone: Anglo-Saxons in the North East will be held at St Hilda's Church in Hartlepool.

The exhibition Etched in Stone: Anglo-Saxons in the North East will be held at St Hilda's Church in Hartlepool.

Key finds at the Hartlepool exhibition include three recently discovered 'namestones' - commemorative carvings that bear the names of Anglo-Saxons who lived through the height of the Viking raids.

They are about 1,400 years old, and unique to the North East of England.

Only 31 have ever been discovered, and each one is emblazoned with the name of an individual, usually written in runes or Latin characters, but sometimes in both. Most of them are decorated with a cross, and some have a small central cavity that may once have held a relic or a jewel.

Today, the namestones are scattered in museums across the country, but by creating digital 3D models made from photographs, they are now being re-united online, giving people all around the world the chance to examine them up close in 3D.

For those who live in Hartlepool, where many of the namestones were originally found, a small collection will also be on display, alongside several recently discovered artefacts from ongoing excavations at Lindisfarne, which together tell the story of one of the first communities in Britain to be attacked by Vikings in AD 793.

The exhibition is being curated by DigVentures and Durham University, with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and is free to visit both online, and in person.

The Pop-up Museum is at St Hilda’s Church, Hartlepool, and open from 9:30am-5pm until March 10. Entry is free.

Visitors will be able to encounter a 'micro collection' of Anglo-Saxon sculpture, and recently discovered artefacts, as well as meet the archaeologists who found them.

There are additional virtual displays, including interactive 3D models of more artefacts from the collection.

The rest of the collection is also viewable online at digventures.com/etched-in-stone

Plus, for those who want to get more hands-on, there’s a free workshop where you can make your own digital 3D model of one of the artefacts. For more details visit: digventures.com/calendar