Harborough Museum displays archaeology from Harborough District dating from the Neolithic period which was around 4,500 years ago to 17th century objects linked to the English Civil War. The Market Harborough Historical Society’s collection includes more exotic archaeology from Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Amongst the oldest items on display are the beautiful ‘basket ornaments’ found by a metal detectorist in Gilmorton which date to about 2,500 BC. These mysterious items are thought to be earrings or hair decorations. Their strange name refers to their shape. The impact of gold at this time must have been huge. Only important people in society would have been able to own a piece of gold worn as a symbol of their status.
These delicate and rare objects are among the earliest metal objects in Britain and are the oldest example of metalworking from Leicestershire. They are of a style previously known only from Iberia and a 19th century find from Ireland. This particular style is therefore not native to Britain.
Gilmorton is a village near Lutterworth and the former RAF Bruntingthorpe site, which is now an Aerodrome. Many inhabitants in the early 19th century worked as framework knitters