The Clerk in a (small) city
Friday 27th January 2023
Highlights of a holiday
As the knee injury I sustained last September while climbing into a London taxi en route to Chichester slowly improves, I feel able to look back more positively on my holiday and what I was able to see while standing on one leg in some discomfort.
A highlight was certainly a visit to the Novium Museum, built over the remains of a Roman bath house, excavated in the 1970s, which can be looked down on from the ground floor. Unfortunately the lift was out of order, making the top floor exhibition gallery out of reach, but the struggle up one flight of stairs to the first floor was rewarded by a splendid permanent display on the history of Chichester from early times. Only days after the death of the Queen, seeing a magnificent bust of King Charles I in gilded crown, sculpted by Hubert Le Sueur and originally on the Market Cross, seemed a striking coincidence.
But it was the “Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man” who really fired the imagination. Discovered in 2008, this Iron Age warrior was buried with a sword, shield and spear and a remarkable bronze helmet with two openwork crests. I always find it especially interesting to see for myself something I have read about, and even my “good” leg was beginning to complain by the time I had finished viewing the helmet from every angle. Readers wishing to know more are recommended to visit the Museum’s website – https://www.thenovium.org/mysterywarrior
Of course, there is no need to risk injury en route to faraway places in order to enjoy a splendid museum with fascinating Iron Age artefacts. There is one just a few yards from the office!