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The Helsfell Wolf

20 Jul 2016

The Helsfell Wolf at Kendal museum is to be restored with Arts Council Funding

Purpose of Arts Council PRISM Grant

Kendal Museum is to receive an Arts Council PRISM Grant (£2605.60 with £260 match funding from Kendal Town council), to conserve and rearticulate the skeleton of the Helsfell wolf. This work will be carried out by Lucie Graham, at the Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston.

Repaired and redisplayed at Kendal Museum for Spring 2017, the Helsfell wolf will engage new audiences for years to come, linking the histories of cave excavation and ‘amateur’ contributions to the Natural Sciences. Reinterpretation and workshops will engage visitors with the history of the wolf in the Lake District.

Importance of the Helsfell wolf

Kendal Museum’s Helsfell wolf skeleton is an extraordinary object that connects Cumbria’s ecological past, present and future. It was excavated in the 1880’s by archaeology enthusiast John Beecham, a Kendal Chair maker, at a site near Kendal Museum.

The Helsfell Wolf is an unusually complete skeleton and is reported to date from the 16th century; it is unique in it’s Cumbrian context. The conservation work we propose will form part of a larger project involving the radiocarbon dating of the skeleton, as a means to learn more about the full extent of its significance.

Carol Davies AMA  Museum Curator.Manager  

‘To share our heritage collections and site, pioneering occupational teaching and community engagement’