Egglestone Spar Box
Egglestone Spar Box c1900-1910<empty>
Source: Killhope Museum
Copyright: Killhope, The North of England Lead mining Museum

Detail of Egglestone Spar Box
Detail of Egglestone Spar Box c1900-1910<empty>
Source: Killhope Museum
Copyright: Killhope, The North of England Lead mining Museum

Eastgate Roman Altar
Original Location: St. John’s Chapel
Current Location: Killhope, North of England Lead Mining Museum Theme: Social
Period: Post-medieval
Date: c.1900

What is it?
The Egglestone Spar Box is a fantastic example of a Victorian folk craft object.

What is its relevance to the North Pennines?
This spar box represents a street scene, with views travelling to infinity. The top part of the cabinet contains beautiful specimens of North Pennine minerals as well as a stuffed bird!

Spar boxes are mainly found in Weardale,  North Pennines in   County Durham, especially at the end of the 19th century when there was a boom in this unusual craft.

Why is it important?
It is the largest example of a Spar Box showing the Victorian folk art to its best.  The Egglestone Spar box is so named because it was kept in a private house owned by William Morley Egglestone.

It was well known in the Upper Weardale community of St John's Chapel, although we don’t know when, why, or who built it; making it even more intriguing.

One story is that it would be taken to local country shows by horse and cart and people were charged 3d or 6d to view it.  Originally it was designed to be lit by candles but since has been altered to be lit by electric lighting.

Further Information

    Text References:
  • Chambers,B (Editor) 2002. 'Friends on the Northern Lead Dales, Friends of Killhope/Spar Box Memories'.

Other Information that might be useful:
Also part of a history of the North East in 100 objects
http://www.100objectsne.co.uk

 

 


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