Mythical creatures may not be the first things that come to mind when you think about historical archives or archaeology, but finding some in our collections was our challenge for this year's Summer Reading Challenge – Mythical Maze. In the end it wasn't too difficult, as well as the griffin on the medieval tile found during excavations at the Commandary a few years ago, we found several documents including one dating from the reign of Edward V1 which included a dragon. We also found unicorns on the embroidered purse which belonged to the parish of Salwarpe. This ornate late 13th or early 14th century bag is one of the more unusual items to be found in the Archives.
After showing children the artefacts and documents and telling them a little bit about what we do in the Archive and Archaeology Service we gave children the opportunity to create their own tiles depicting mythical beasts. Choices included mermaids, dragons, griffins, a centaur and the Loch Ness Monster.