A few years ago I travelled with the Friends of the Museum to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, to see the Alfred Jewel. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to view it close up and not from a photograph. I had to elbow my way through an eager throng of fellow enthusiasts wanting to see this Saxon masterpiece, and the effort was well rewarded. I was not disappointed. The detailed filigree design on gold and the inset figure of Christ in crystal just took your breath away.
Discovered in Petherton in the 18th Century, it was donated to the Ashmolean and has stayed there ever since. Imagine my excitement at learning from assistant curator, Amal, that the Jewel will be displayed in The Somerset Museum Taunton for the next month; an unexpected second chance for me and many others like me to see the Jewel.
The management are to be congratulated on pulling off such a momentous feat and I hope this will be one of many National Treasures coming to Taunton.