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Coventry: A City of Cultures

In January 2019 the WCN were awarded £2000 for the project 'Coventry: A City of Cultures' from GRP Connecting Cultures, at the University of Warwick.

We were especially excited by this project, as it involved collaboration between the Dept of Classics and Ancient History here at Warwick University and academics from the Coventry University, along with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and in Coventry, Lunt Fort Roman site, and local Coventry schools.

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Reconstructed east gateway of Lunt Roman Fort at modern day Bagngton, Coventry

In this project, we investigated the role played by the meeting of cultures in the development of Coventry from Roman through to Medieval times, and are developing teaching resources to help bring local history and Classics to Coventry and Warwickshire schools.

As part of this project, on Wed 19th June Dr Paul Grigsby of the WCN organised a cheese and wine get-together at the Oculus Building on campus between members of the Dept. of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick, academics from Coventry University, and Museum staff from the Herbert Gallery in Coventry and the Warwickshire Museum in Warwick. The meeting was a great success and connections were forged that will continue to build between Warwick and its local community. We are especially excited about the idea of collaborative exhibitions to be organised for our planned Antiquities Room, which we aim to use as a means of bringing Classics to the wider community including local WP schools.

On Monday 8th July, a successful School Day was held to celebrate this project, with a visit to the Herbert Gallery and Lunt Roman Fort on 8th for 46 pupils from Barr’s Hill School and 16 from President Kennedy School, both local Coventry schools to whom the WCN and Classics for All are helping to introduce Classics in September 2019. The day involved object handling, gallery tours and academic sessions at the Herbert, followed by a tour of Lunt Roman Fort. More information about this event can be found here.

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Roman ring found at Lunt Fort, decorated with a palm leaf, the symbol of victory

WCN is developing resources based on this project which will appear here. We aim to make these resources available to schools in the local area for teaching purposes, and to help establish ongoing connections between the universities, Coventry schools, and cultural institutions like the Herbert Gallery.

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Hanging bowl dating from 500-800AD, used as a cremation vessel at Bagington Cemetary.

Above all, we hope to create a greater knowledge and appreciation of Coventry as an exciting and vibrant meeting place of cultures, especially in the run up to Coventry City of Culture 2021.

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