Ancient Egypt comes to the Castle

A new Ancient Egypt display opened at The Castle in Bude on Wednesday 26th October and will run through to January 6th 2023. The exhibition is to mark the 100 year anniversary, on 4th November, of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter. Small replicas of items from Tutankhamun’s tomb, figurines, statuettes and objects can be found on display in the museum on the ground floor at The Castle.

The exhibition has been curated by Mark Berridge, Castle & Library Manager, who is also an amateur Egyptologist. Mark explains why he wanted to do this:

“I have always been fascinated with Egypt since I was little. The family had some books growing up called ‘Knowledge’ and on the front was Tutankhamun’s funeral mask which I found intriguing. At university I did a project on Egypt and this reinvigorated my passion. In 1995, my wife and I took a holiday to Luxor and we spent the holiday visiting all the sites and flying to Cairo to see the pyramids. I was completely hooked! I then did a course on ancient Egypt, I just love it.

This summer I realised that it is the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun and thought if ever I was going to do an exhibition at The Castle, this is it. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb must be one of the most world’s best and iconic finds of all time. Because of our policy at The Castle, all our permanent displays have to be based on Bude & Stratton and/or the surrounding parishes. However, a temporary display can be based on things further a field.

There was no way we were going to get anything from Egypt, especially as all Tutankhamun’s treasures have been moved to a new museum in Giza. To loan objects from another museum would have taken too long so I thought of my own collection of objects. These would have made a display on their own but I thought if anyone else locally might have a collection like myself they would help make the exhibition more extensive. I put a Facebook post out asking for people who might like to loan anything. Three local ladies came forward and offered me their collections. I was thrilled and so were they to be a part of it.”

The display has replicas from King Tut’s tomb such as a miniature of one of the guardian statues which protected the sealed tomb, a miniature throne, a sarcophagus, busts, a copy of a plaque of Tutankhamun and his wife which came from his tomb, to name but a few.

Mark goes on to say, “I am really pleased on how the display has come out. I am so grateful to Elaine, Gill and Lesley for loaning their own treasures to accompany my collection. It really is a cabinet of ‘wonderful things’, to quote Howard Carter!”

The exhibition will be on display until Sunday 8th January 2023 before The Castle closes for the annual week of spring cleaning and painting. A small selection of items for children to buy can be found in the gift shop upstairs to accompany the exhibition.