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Crosby Garrett’s Roman Cavalry Helmet

Tullie House Foyer in Christmas aspect

Tullie House Museum Foyer in Christmas aspect

We went to Carlisle’s Tullie House museum recently. It was very good, as usual, but at the moment it  also has the famous and distinctive masked cavalry sports helmet from Crosby Garrett that sold at Christies in 2010 for £3 million. This exhibit is well worth seeing before it leaves Cumbria forever in late January.

The helmet has a glorious deep green patina with traces of silvering on the face mask and gilding on the Phrygian cap . The original owner was likely a celebrated and wealthy cavalry officer, he may have been a priest of Mithras and he will undoubtedly have ridden through the Eden Valley.

The museum sells a highly informative booklet that details the helmet’s character and historical context and recounts it’s remarkable finding and Darren Bradbury’s very good job of the reconstruction (over roughly 240 hrs long!) and the helmet is perfectly displayed.

Alongside artefacts that were contemporaneous with the helmet and are Roman and Romano British, the survey of the area also uncovered mesolithic and neolithic cherts! These Fells and Dales are steeped in history.


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