Unlocking town heritage with kids’ treasure hunt

By Newsdesk   |   Newsdesk   |
Friday 5th August 2022 6:00 am
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five-year-old Emily Underhill from Newton Abbot completed the Newton Abbot Museum treasure hunt and is presented with a gemstone by museum curatorial assistant Katie Petley-Jones. ()

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A FREE treasure hunt at Newton Abbot Museum is encouraging youngsters to unlock the town’s history with semi-precious gemstones on offer to those who crack the code.

Children are being invited to search the former Victorian church for eight keys hidden among the collection.

Clues are provided and each time a key is found it can be ticked off the list.

Once all eight have been located it’s back to the welcome desk where a mini treasure chest is unlocked and the intrepid investigators invited to take a gemstone of their liking.

In addition to being a bit of holiday fun, the hunt helps to reveal aspects of the town’s past, not least the role of the ancient Feoffee’s and their oak chest which once contained official civic paperwork.

‘The Feoffees were trustees of important documents and money so their heavy wooden chest was an important item,’ said Curatorial Assistant Katie Petley-Jones.

‘People are often very impressed by it and we can only wonder what treasures it once held.

It tells of a very different age when security meant nothing more than a good lock and a sturdy box.’

One of those who has already completed the treasure hunt is five-year-old Emily Underhill from Newton Abbot, a regular visitor whose great great grandfather’s First World War uniform is on display in the museum.

Selecting a gemstone to take home she said: ‘The treasure hunt was fun.’

The treasure hunt is free, as is museum admission, and set to run until September 3 during usual opening hours of Tuesday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 1.30pm.

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