Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010
A History of the World - in Devon
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Montage of Devon's 10 objects

The BBC and the British Museum have joined forces in an original and unprecedented public service partnership, focusing on world history.

At its heart is a landmark series on BBC Radio 4, A History of the World in 100 Objects, which will broadcast from 18 January 2010.

Each county has also been tasked with choosing its own selection of 10 of its most important items.

As part of the project you are also being invited to contribute your own objects to the website.

A History of the World - graphic
The project continues throughout 2010

"Listeners and viewers will be asked to suggest further objects and can actively participate by uploading photographs of their own objects that have a local or global appeal," said Mark Grinnell, BBC Radio Devon's managing editor.

"By the end of February we hope each BBC Local website will have an additional "People's 10 Objects" telling the history of their region and its global connections."

If you click on the A History of the World website you will find all the instructions you need to upload details of your own object.

We're looking for ordinary objects with extraordinary stories and local and global resonance.

The 10 objects which have been selected for Devon - and can be found in museums in Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay - are listed below.

"These objects link us with great people and events in the past," said Dr Julien Parsons from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the Devon museum co-ordinator for the project.

"They show the global threads that connect Devon to distant places and cultures all over the world."

Why not try to see if you can guess what they are?

Object one

The wearer of this item was born in Plymouth in 1868.

He became a national hero when he set a new record.

Object two

The wearer of this item travelled around the world seven times.

She donated the 700 objects she collected on her travels to Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

This item was worn by her when trekking in Western Himalaya in 1914.

Object three

This item and others were found at the Bronze Age settlement site of Shaugh Moor on Dartmoor - home to the best preserved Bronze Age landscape in northern Europe.

Tin has a long and important history in the area - this item provides evidence to suggest this dates back to the Bronze Age.

Object four

This item from Tasmania was given to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter in 1997 by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

It was part of an exchange for a necklace and bracelet that belonged to Truganini - a famous Aboriginal heroine who died in 1876.

Object five

This item was probably made for Sir John Gilbert.

The Gilbert brothers, Sir John, Sir Humphrey and Adrian played a major role in Elizabethan maritime history.

Sir John was responsible for the defence of Devon against the Spanish Armada.

Object six

The company which made this item was invited into Plymouth after the war and championed the development of portable radios which were exported all over the world.

The Plymouth factory was subsequently taken over by Toshiba, which ensured that Plymouth's technology continued to be exported internationally.

Object seven

This item comes from the oldest Scheduled Ancient Monument in Britain, which has evidence of human occupation dating back half a million years. This item was dug up during the 1866 excavation led by archaeologist William Pengelly, but was been stored away at Torquay Museum for decades.

It was recently rediscovered and has now been carbon-dated as being around 36,000 years old.

Object eight

This item is from the Roman legionary bath-house found during excavations under Exeter Cathedral Close in the 1970s.

They are evidence of the impact of the Roman Empire on Isca (Exeter) and (arguably) from one of the earliest stone buildings in Britain.

Object nine

This item was acquired by plant collectors for Veitch & Son, Exeter.

Veitch's was the first commercial nursery to send out their own plant collectors all over the world from 1840. In amongst the carefully packed seeds and plants, artefacts were placed.

The firm is credited with the introduction to Britain of 100 varieties of exotic ferns, over 200 orchid varieties and more than 150 trees and shrubs - most famously they made the Monkey Puzzle tree widely available.

Many of the wonderful artefacts collected by Veitch & Sons were publicly displayed at their Chelsea nursery until they were given to RAMM, Exeter, in 1880.

Object 10

This item is regarded as one of the masterpieces of medieval ceramic art.

It was discovered in South Street, Exeter, in 1899, it was made in the Saintonge area of Western France and demonstrates the strong trading connections Exeter had during the medieval period.

A History of the World - in Devon
18 Jan 10 |  History



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific