Ancient Egyptian Collection

A well-kept secret amongst Egyptologists, the Ancient Egyptian collection at Chiddingstone Castle holds some unique and rare objects such as a red porphyry head of a queen from the Ptolemaic Period, an outstanding collection of shabti figures which were placed inside tombs as workers for the afterlife, a model boat made for a tomb, and a collection of drink and food vessels ranging from the Predynastic Period to the New Kingdom. Denys Eyre Bower became interested in the subject around 1922, when the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered by Howard Carter.

At the beginning of 2013, 340 objects from the Egyptian collection were loaned to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for the opening of their Hall of Ancient Egypt. This has been an opportunity for international visitors to see some of the Chiddingstone Castle collection and to display objects which had been in storage for many years. 

In the Spring of 2014, we launched a unique Ancient Egyptian garden at the far end of the North Lawn. “The Fields of Eternity” garden has been designed to enhance the imagination for visitors of all ages, and children in particular – and will help link the landscape of Ancient Egypt to the castle’s collection of Egyptian antiquities. Visitors are able to learn about life and the environment in 2000 BC by exploring a grass maze - carefully prepared paths of grasses, wild flowers and crops laid out as if the River Nile (flowing south to north, as does the River Nile in Egypt), with its ‘tributaries’ leading to exciting discoveries, such as Tutankhamun’s tomb and a giant sun dial. To create this remarkable treasure trail, the correct seeds will soon be sourced and sown at the right times – wheat seeds first discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun have been used!

For requests to study the collection for research, please contact curator@chiddingstonecastle.org.uk.