Highdown Goblet Story Competition

The Highdown Goblet is one of Sussex's great archaeological mysteries! Made in Egypt, but with Greek writing and found buried on the Sussex coast with a possibly Germanic settler. Mysterious right?

So mysterious even we don't have the answers! So we are asking you to write a short story suggesting how the ancient Goblet came to be buried at Highdown Hill!

Below we have included all the information we have on the Highdown Goblet and we are hoping you can come up with a story for how it came to be buried on the South Coast of England! Perhaps you think it was bought and sold many times over, stolen or given as a gift to a weary traveler, or maybe there was magic or time travelers involved?

Don’t worry about the historical accuracy we want you to be as creative as you can!

We would like the stories to be under 500 words and we will be selecting winners in three age groups, 7 and under, 8-11, and 12-16. Winners will receive 4 tickets to the family show of your choice! Please email your entries to marketing@wtam.uk.

We would love for you to get involved and share your stories with us!

Closing date for entries extended until Sunday 28th June!

As we are on furlough from the 5th to the 29th of June, we have extended the closing date for entries!

The Highdown Goblet

The Highdown Goblet is a glass goblet thought to have been made in Alexandria, Egypt, at the end of the 4th century.

The vase has a carved design of a dog chasing two hares and a Greek inscription on the vessel translates as "Use me and good health to you", a relatively common inscription, used on many containers from the period.

The fragile glass goblet was found at Highdown Hill, part of a large and important Anglo-Saxon cemetery, which was discovered by a group of workmen planting trees in 1892. The cemetery was used in the 5th and 6th centuries, and items such as the vase, weapons, jewellery and other fine glassware would be buried with the dead reflecting different levels of wealth in the Anglo-Saxon community.

In 2019 the Highdown Goblet underwent restoration work by conservators from West Dean College of Arts & Conservation. It had some slight weaknesses in its original repair fixed and was cleaned with specialist chemicals. This type of careful conservation work is really important to look after ancient artifacts and protect them for the future.

So how do you think the goblet made it from Egypt to be buried with a possibly German settler on the Sussex coast?

Highdown Goblet Restoration at West Dean College

Highdown Goblet

Archaeologist James Sainsbury with the Highdown Goblet

Highdown Hill

Highdown Hill is a small hill near Worthing on the West Sussex coast. It has had many uses since Prehistoric times, with a settlement in the Bronze age, fortification in the Iron age, a Roman bath house and a Saxon cemetary.

The site was made a scheduled ancient monument in 1930 before a radar station was built during the second world war within the fort. The station was surrounded by dugouts and machine gun posts, damaging some of the archaeology. The site is now owned by the National Trust and is a favourite spot for walking dogs.

Google map for Highdown Hill

Highdown Hill