The Solway Hoard

“One of the best exhibitions I have seen. It’s about plastic. It’s about fossil fuel use. It’s about the failure to tackle climate change and environmental destruction. It’s quirky, futuristic and sparklingly imaginative.” Solway Hoard Visitor

The Solway Hoard Exhibition

The Plastic Age. Year 3023


From the mid-20th century to the middle of the 21st century, the production, use and disposal of plastic left an indelible mark on our world. Plastic impacted every aspect of the environment, from the pollution of rivers and oceans to the micro deposits found within human bodies and in airborne dust..

Although microscopic particles of this material are still with us a thousand years later, very few of the objects that were manufactured in this period have ever been recovered.

All of the exhibits in this collection are artefacts from The Plastic Age discovered in 3022 by two marine engineers attached to the Inter-stream 2 Intercontinental Plasma Pipeline project in the Solway. A steel capsule embedded deep in the silt contained this collection, but who collected the objects and why is unknown. While we have an understanding of the provenance and significance of some, the full histories of others remain a mystery.

The exhibits have had widely different uses, roles and journeys. Some are simply beautifully crafted objects, others mark key periods in history or represent human innovation. All are culturally significant and allow us an insight into this troubling material and its legacy.

As always with such glimpses of the past, we are left to wonder at our earlier selves.

“Every fragment of our past – from the rich light pools of Medieval stained glass to the intricate valves and jets of The Plasma Age, illuminate the twists and turns on our journey to now and our many imaginings of the future”

El-Dh Mossaf . Director, Museum of World Heritage 3023


Visit the Solway Hoard exhibition
The Solway Hoard Museum Workshops
References and Resources

Video- Mike Bolam

The Solway Hoard exhibition is part of the Positive Action for a Cleaner Solway Project created by the Solway Firth Partnership in collaboration with The Museums of the FutureNow and Waste Stories. This project was supported by the Scottish Government’s Marine Fund Scotland.