Dr. Katharine Walker has been appointed as the new Director and took up her post at the start of February 2022: - We sent Matt Holmes to chat with Dr. Katharine Walker.

I’m delighted to take up this new role and challenge as Museum Director. A few weeks before I spotted the advertised post, I spent a wonderful afternoon with friends at the Museum. I remember commenting, ‘I’d love to work here,’ and here I find myself – it’s been a bit of a whirlwind as I’ve now relocated to the beautiful Cotswolds and getting my feet firmly under the table.

To be a part of this award-winning Museum, absolutely located in the heart of Cirencester, and known affectionately as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’ is a real honour. My background is more in prehistoric archaeology, so being a custodian of the new immersive galleries entitled Stone Age to Corinium is incredible. I’ve already been discovering and delving into the highly significant finds from the Roman town of Corinium. There are so many stories in which I aim to convey and reach wider audiences with the help of our strong team here – it is truly a journey through time, charting the development of the Cotswolds from its prehistoric landscape to the modern-day. If you haven’t visited do – I know I’m a bit biased but with my fresh pair of eyes, even I’m staggered at what there is to see, as well as do – the team put on so many events, exhibitions, things to do - February half term has its trail already underway!

I know that with this great honour how I am fortunate to have been given such solid foundations on which to build, thanks to Amanda Hart’s energy and dedication over the past years. Some staggering archaeological discoveries are happening in the Cotswolds with some incredible stories to tell; it is an exciting and advantageous time to take on the baton.

My career background covers a wealth of experience and knowledge in leadership and management within the culture and heritage sector. I have a profound interest in museums and archaeology and my background interest lies as a Neolithic specialist and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. I studied for my Ph.D. in Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Other career highlights include Centre Manager at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst, where I worked in various collections and engagement roles for the past six years. I’m also a Visiting Research Fellow in Archaeology at Bournemouth University. I have held roles as Collections Manager and Curator at Hengistbury Head and part-time lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Bristol.

My vision for Corinium Museum is that collectively we can achieve sustainability for Corinium Museum and expand further on our inclusivity and diversity of resources. The hugely significant collections held at Corinium provide many stories and insights. I’m looking forward to working with the team to unlock further highlights, which we will relay through as many creative channels and events as possible to tell these stories to an even wider audience.

I am looking forward to working with the team to stride ahead following the impressive redevelopment of the prehistory galleries. We have a series of events in the planning, including an exciting opportunity. The Gladiators – a cemetery of secrets – is a touring exhibition heading this way from Jorvik for a six-month run from October 2022 – it will offer a chance to delve into the evidence of six skeletons and discover for yourself who are the Gladiators – an interactive and immersive opportunity not to miss! The Gladiators are coming to Cirencester!

I intend to do my utmost to further the Museum’s efforts, and we have some great opportunities in the planning for raising the profile of the Museum even further – these are exciting times!