Amgueddfa Blog: Clore Discovery Centre

We’re very excited about our newest specimen on display here in the Clore Discovery Centre –an ichthyosaur skull that was found not far from here at Lavernock (near Penarth).

The skull is going to be on display throughout the summer and this is where you come in.

Instead of us writing an information panel based on what we know about the specimen, we’d rather find out what you would like to know.

So over the next couple of months come into the museum, investigate the specimen and leave your suggestions for what you’d like to discover about the ichthyosaur in the ballot box we’ve set up in the Clore Discovery Centre.

We’ve also got some exciting family workshops lined up where we’ll be learning more about the Jurassic seas that our Ichthyosaurs lived in.

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Saturday 6th July 2pm

Sunday 7th July 2pm

Saturday 13th July 2pm


Something we get a lot of excitement (and sometimes head scratching!) from here in the Clore Discovery Centre is helping you to identify your finds. Every year museum visitors bring us thousands of objects they have found/excavated/collected and ask us to help identify them. 

This summer Will Hardy came to us to find out more about some fossils he had found recently. Of the three pieces one was particularly exciting as it was beautifully preserved. It might not look much from my dodgy phot but this fossil is amazing!

It's part of a plant called Calamites from the Welsh Coal Measures and is about 300 million years old which grew to about 30m high!

Well found Will!

Over the next few weeks we'll be challenging you to identify some of our 'mystery objects'



Objects are evidence of somewhere, something, or somebody and as such all have stories to tell.

Recently a class of adults studying creative writing at Carduff University attended a workshop here with me in the Clore Discovery Centre. They took on the role of a curator and wrote their own creative labels for some of their favourite objects in the gallery. Here are a few examples:


Iron-Nickel Meteorite (Approximately 4.5 billion years old)

 I wandered lonely, in a cloud of fragments, beyond the Martian orbit, since the beginnings of the Solar System some four-and-a-half billions of years ago. A passing satellite, en-route from Earth to who knows where, disturbed my orbit, and I fell towards the distant sun. Later, I felt the pull of Earth, and spiralled down into its gravity well – faster and faster until in fiery glory I blazed across the sky, a meteorite. Though reduced in size, I fell to earth. A fragment of the ancient history of the Solar System – a messenger from outer space – here I lie in The National Museum Collection.

David Edwards


What is it? Popular wrong answers include a drinking vessel or a paperweight!!

 It is an axe head. Bronze Age man hafted it to a wooden handle and used the D shaped loop on the side for strapping.  Butchering, wood-cutting and self-defence are among possible uses for this versatile tool.

 Mike Dolan


A snakestone fossil

thought to be magic,

I was a cephalopod

with head and foot fused.


In life I relied

on plain hydraulics

a siphuncle curled

like a twirling straw


adjusted the pressure

in my chambered coils,

let me rise and fall

as I dodged ichthyosaurs.


Anne Bryan



Inspired by the most inquisitive visitor ever who came and really tested my knowledge yesterday (perfect mental warm up for all the questions we'll get about the collections over the holidays) I thought it would be useful to give some suggestions for things to consider when exploring objects.

All objects have some kind of a story, and objects are all evidence of somewhere, something, or somebody ans as such all have stories to tell.

So when you're looking at an object for the very first time, thinking about some of these will guide your exploration:

Is it real or a model?

How old is it?

Is it man made or natural?

What might it have been used for/by whom/when/for what?

Does it remind you of anything you've seen before?


Some of our busy school visitors investigated and explored objects in the gallery, through careful questioning and research they discovered lots about their objects. Here is a selection of the labels they wrote

Croeso i Ganolfan Ddarganfod Clore. I’r rheiny ohonoch sydd heb gamu drwy ein drysau dwbl eto, oriel ‘ymarferol’ ydyn ni ar lawr gwaelod Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd.

 Galwch draw i archwilio cannoedd o wrthrychau amgueddfa: pryfed, ffosilau, mwynau a gemau, penglogau anifeiliaid, crochenwaith Rhufeinig ac arfau o’r Oes Efydd (a llawer mwy!). Dyma gyfle i chi drin a thrafod rhai o’r 7.5 miliwn o wrthrychau fydd fel arfer yn cuddio yng nghrombil ein storfeydd.

Gall y gwrthrychau real yma ysbrydoli oedolion a phlant fel eu gilydd. Gydag amser, byddwn ni’n postio esiamplau o’ch ymatebion i’r casgliadau ac yn cynnig syniadau i chi fanteisio i’r eithaf ar yr oriel a’i chasgliadau.

 Beth am ddod â’ch ‘gwrthrychau dirgel’ i’r oriel er mwyn i’n harbenigwyr eich helpu i’w hadnabod. Byddwn ni’n dangos ein ffefrynnau ar y blog ac yn gofyn i chi gynnig eich syniadau eich hun.

 Welwn ni chi’n fuan!