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Hidden Stories from the River Wear

Hidden Stories from the River Wear logo

This exciting online exhibition explores the collection of Gary Bankhead, an underwater archaeologist. Since 2007, Gary has been diving under Elvet Bridge in Durham, gathering over 13,500 objects dating from as early as the 12th century! In 2008, Gary created the ‘Dive into Durham’ project, which aimed to research and catalogue the River Wear collection. 

Explore a small selection of Gary’s objects up close alongside interviews with Gary himself and beautiful illustrations which help to bring the collection and their stories to life. Ranging from Medieval pilgrim badges to Victorian dentures, the objects found in the River Wear bring to light the stories of romance, religion, toys lost through time and artefacts that are weird and wonderful. 

This exhibition has been curated by students studying for the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University. Working closely with Gary Bankhead, they have explored hundreds of objects and revealed hidden stories and objects which dive deeper into Durham’s past.