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Family activity, Wandering words, is only running on Sat 19 Oct and Tues 22 to Fri 25 Oct

The Armada Portrait © Tyrwhitt-Drake Collection

West Country to World's End: The Armada Portrait

West Country to World’s End: the South West in the Tudor Age

26 October 2013 to 2 March 2014

Celebrating the spirit of adventure and enterprise of South West people, this landmark exhibition explores the West Country to World’s end in the age of the Tudors. Comprising loans from the Bodleian Library, British Library, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Trust, Royal Collection, Royal Museums Greenwich, Victoria & Albert Museum and private lenders, it will present a compelling account of the remarkable contributions of individuals from the South West from 1540 to 1620.

During the Elizabethan ‘Golden Age’ West Country folk were famed for their innovation and endeavour. Drake sailed to ‘World’s End’ in pursuit of treasure and glory, while Raleigh took settlers to a New World. Exeter-born painter Nicholas Hilliard and scholar Thomas Bodley found fame beyond their native city which bustled with merchants made rich by overseas trade. Goldsmiths, plasterers, carpenters, masons and lacemakers were commissioned to provide luxury houses and goods. These local stories are told against the backdrop of historical events – the Reformation and religious turmoil, political unrest, conflict with Spain and intrigues in the Royal Court – that make for one of the most evocative periods of English history.

West Country to World’s End will be opened at a private function on Friday 25 October by Dr Ian Mortimer, historian and writer of historical fiction. Dr Ian Mortimer presented a three-part series on BBC2 this summer based on his book The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England.

The exhibition has been made possible through the support of Arts Council England and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue available from RAMM during the exhibition at the special price of £14.95.

Visiting London? – Elizabeth I & Her People explores the remarkable reign of Elizabeth I through the lives and portraiture of her subjects at the National Portrait Gallery, 10 October 2013 to 5 January 2014, entry £13.50.paul_mellon_logoace-black_0

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