RESCUE says: Proposed changes to ‘Treasure’ rules include some of our policy proposals

The long anticipated new review of the Treasure Act is out for consultation until the end of April 2019.  It covers various aspects of the procedure in the Treasure Act Code of Practice (last updated 2007) to improve delivery speeds. It removes the overlap between Church of England and Treasure laws (in favour of the CoE, not necessarily the best solution although maybe the simplest) in relation to burials in consecrated ground, an anomaly noted for resolution in discussions about the bill in 1996.

As before (in 2002) it suggests extensions to the original Treasure definition, this time to include:

2019-02-25T21:07:31+00:0025 February, 2019|Tags: |0 Comments

Repairing damage to an 800-year old coffin at Prittlewell Priory – who should pay?

Repairs to an 800-year old coffin damaged by visitors to Prittlewell Priory Muesum in Southend will cost a “negligible” £100 to fix, according to Southend Council.1

For those unfamiliar with the story, the sandstone sarcophagus – found in the Priory grounds in 1921 complete with buried occupant – was damaged accidentally in the museum

Prittlewell Priory

when a visiting family lifted a child over the barrier and into it for a photograph. The incident and the damage was captured on CCTV, but the perpetrators fled the scene – leaving the damaged coffin behind, a story that […]

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:0030 August, 2017|Tags: |0 Comments

Rescue respond to DCMS’ Museums Review

Rescue have submitted a response to the Government’s “Review of Museums in England”((, described thus:

The Museums Review will consider how museums and galleries across England can thrive and become even more inclusive. The Review will look at how the sector operates, the challenges it faces and the role of government-sponsored museums.

Rescue have highlighted the crisis over the storage of archaeological archives, as well as threats to professional curatorial expertise evident right across the sector, as well as the ongoing funding pressures and the deleterious effects this is having on the aspiration of museums to make heritage accessible to […]

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:003 November, 2016|Tags: , |0 Comments

The proposed DCMS White Paper on ‘Our Culture’: A response by RESCUE – The British Archaeological Trust

Rescue have formulated a response to a recent white paper discussion piece by DCMS, entitled ‘Our Culture’, focused on the funding of archaeology in the UK.

Our response is available at and reproduced below:


Financial resilience and the funding of cultural institutions and organisations

“The second theme will focus on building financial resilience in cultural organisations and institutions through new funding models, to enable them to survive and prosper in a tough economic and financial climate.”

RESCUE -The British Archaeological Trust ( welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the formulation of the forthcoming White Paper on ‘Our Culture’. We offer the […]

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:0027 October, 2015|Tags: , |0 Comments

HMS Victory: the full story so far

RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust has been following the case of HMS Victory AD 1744 since Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME) announced in 2009 the identification of the ship’s wreck site in the English Channel. (OME press release 26th February 2009, , accessed 18th March 2015).

The press release said “Odyssey has been cooperating closely with the UK MOD on the project ….”.

RESCUE has uploaded correspondence and the responses onto our website Some material is briefly outlined in the timeline below, and is contained in more detail in the uploaded correspondence.

Admiral Sir John Balchen’s HMS Victory Timeline

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:0026 March, 2015|Tags: |Comments Off on HMS Victory: the full story so far

Rescue says: The Lenborough Hoard

RESCUE Says: The Lenborough Hoard

The media have once again whipped themselves into a frenzy regarding buried treasure. The latest example is the Lenborough hoard – a metal detecting rally bonanza consisting of over 5,000 allegedly pristine silver coins dated (so far) to the reigns of Aethelred and Cnut – AD 978-1016 – which according to the press will net the landowner and the finder a cool £1m.

‘The dig’ for the silver coins…from the Buckingham Advertiser

This of course is all we need […]

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:006 January, 2015|Tags: |1 Comment

War Grave Looting Goes On

Sunk with the loss of 1,459 Navy sailors by a German submarine in the First World War three Royal Navy cruisers, are now enjoying a new life as source of cheap metal for Dutch commercial salvage ships. The three ships, HMS Aboukir,
HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy, were all sunk on the 22 September 1914. The satirical magazine Private Eye revealed in November that the Ministry of Defence had ‘stonewalled’ a freedom of  information request from Andy Brockman, of archaeological campaigning group Mortimer, on how many Royal Navy ships which might be considered war graves had had salvage contracts granted or sold.

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:001 April, 2012|Tags: |Comments Off on War Grave Looting Goes On

British Museum to endorse TV treasure hunting programme?

RESCUE have written to the Dr Roger Bland of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to express our alarm at the well-substantiated rumours that are circulating regarding the participation of the British Museum in the production of a television series for ITV entitled ‘Britain’s Secret Treasures’ which will take as its focus the activities of artefact hunters and metal detector users.

RESCUE has grave concerns that the apparent endorsement of this destructive activity by a body such as the British Museum will do nothing to lessen its impact on our buried archaeological heritage and will in all probability encourage more people to purchase […]

2018-12-13T18:48:28+00:0020 February, 2011|Tags: |Comments Off on British Museum to endorse TV treasure hunting programme?

Crisis facing our national treasures

RESCUE – The British Archaeological Trust welcomes the contribution of the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME) to the debate over the future of archaeological archives in the UK.

We have long advocated improvements to the system of archive deposition in local and regional museums and the creation of regional depositories to hold archives from developer-funded and amateur/voluntary excavations in perpetuity. The funding crisis has only deepened the crisis surrounding the long term curation of archaeological archives.

2018-12-13T18:48:28+00:0016 November, 2010|Tags: |Comments Off on Crisis facing our national treasures

Cuts to National Museums Liverpool

Museums have been starved of resources for many years relying on donations and voluntary help from their local communities. It is ironic that David Cameron chose Liverpool to announce his Big Society concept. National Museums Liverpool receives 95% of its funding from central government and has been told to expect cuts of at least 30%. It is unlikely the Local Authorities of the area can readily make up the shortfall. Liverpool’s museums have now been forced to launch a petition protesting at potential cuts to their funding from central government. They may have to close some venues, including the National Conservation Centre, which gives the public […]

2018-12-13T18:48:29+00:0020 October, 2010|Tags: |Comments Off on Cuts to National Museums Liverpool
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