The Heritage Room

radioOur Heritage Room came into being almost accidentally. In 2005, when we opened in the west classroom of the old Junior School building that we share with the Tourism Office, the main possession was the Herbarium of dried flowers. We had also a few miscellaneous artefacts, mineral rocks, worked stones, and some unmounted skins of rarer birds. Securing a headquarters for the Society prompted donations and loans of antiquities by locals and by a few visitors.  Notably, there is a fine collection of stone axes and hammers, mauls and rubbing stones, all made of Sark stone and found by the Seigneur W.T.Collings, (1853-1877) son-in-law of the great Guernsey archaeologist F.C.Lukis, and great-great grandfather of the present Seigneur.
    Since 2005 there have been archaeological excavations every summer, with the result that the Heritage Room now posesses over a hundred ancient coins dating from the period 100BC-200AD, either Roman or Celtic Iron Age. This is far more than Guernsey Museum. There are also some copper alloy axeheads and other small artefacts from the Mid-Late Bronze Age, many more worked and bored stones, and large quantities of pottery from the Middle Bronze Age onwards (c.1400BC)
   The exhibitions that we put on in the summer season mean that paintings and photographs which have been lent are on display for a limited time. Seigneur Michael Beaumont’s working model (scale 12:1) of the Sark Windmill (1571 AD) was the centrepiece of an exhibition in 2007 concerning recent restoration work on the mill. Thanks to the Seigneur’s generous donation, the model remains on display as the best way to understand what remains of the milling machinery.
   Visitors are always interested in Sark’s experience of German Occupation in1940-1945; we have a few important artefacts from the period. Sark has a privately owned and well established Heritage and Occupation Museum on Rue Lucas and La Société has not tried to rival that collection, but rather to complement it by concentrating on documents in our Archive.