This lovely little museum is situated just back from the main street and is easily found but difficult to park nearby. The gate was locked – a security precaution as a result of an armed attack a few years ago – but a knock at the door brought the volunteer curator quickly. She had a wealth of knowledge about the exhibits, having catalogued over 2,000 of them personally some years ago. There is a fine collection of ivory – not particularly p.c. now and it was sad to see whole tusks, but looking beyond that the collection was very substantial. The ebony furniture is also very impressive. We particularly liked a filing cabinet and asked to see one of the drawers open and were amazed to see it was full of old papers and books.
There are many Roman artefacts as well as later Arab exhibits, all carefully placed together to show them at their best. There is an old mechanical clock, made in England, and only one of about four in the world. It was very dusty and we were told that it was unknown if it still was in working order, but it was impressive nonetheless. We were amused by the sets of Staffordshire Wally Dogs – a donation we were told.
The little chapel next door is delightful and one of the few surviving chapels of the 1755 earthquake.
It should be noted that no photographs are allowed to be taken within the museum or chapel. Entry is free but a donation is welcome although not obligatory.
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