Roman helmet
This Roman parade helmet that sold for a hammer price of £2m at Christie’s in 2010 is going on display in a Carlisle museum as part of the Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition programme. Photo ©Christie's Images and Bridgeman Images.

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The extraordinary object, a Roman bronze cavalry parade helmet dating from the 1st-2nd century AD, was found in a Cumbrian field in 2010.

Called the Crosby Garrett helmet after the area of Cumbria where it was discovered, it was sold at auction at Christie’s later that year for a hammer price of £2m.

Now Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery will display the artefact as part of its five-month Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition, which celebrates the cavalry regiments that guarded the north west frontier of the Roman Empire.

The helmet first went on display there in 2013 attracting more than 20,000 visitors.

Hadrian’s Wall Exhibition

This year’s exhibition is part of a wider Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition programme across 10 museums and heritage attractions along Hadrian’s Wall from April 8 to September 10.

Bill Griffiths, head of programmes for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and chair of the Hadrian’s Cavalry steering group, said: “The inclusion of the Crosby Garrett helmet alongside other unique objects from so many different museums across Europe really emphasises that the Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition is a once in a lifetime experience.”

The Tullie House Museum is especially pleased to welcome the helmet back.

It had tried to buy the helmet in 2010 having raised public funds from local people but was outbid by a private buyer.

The new owner has loaned out the helmet on a number of occasions including the British Museum in 2014.

The British Museum said the helmet was not used in combat and is a “splendid example of the spectacular bronze face-mask visor-helmets used in special events known as cavalry sports”.