Over two weekends in January I visited two exhibitions; ‘Celts‘ at the British Museum and ‘Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution‘ at the National Maritime Museum. I was quite disappointed with the Celts exhibition, because although there were some stunning artefacts on display, there wasn’t much in the way of information or new discoveries.Beautiful relics, including old snaffle bits from reins used by Celts, some ornate daggers, and lovely scriptures were really the selling point of the crowded space – this show was definitely not “intellectually complex” as the Spectator seems to suggest. One of the few facts given (and repeatedly mentioned throughout the exhibition to the point of becoming a joke) was that the word “Celt” originated in Ancient Greece, but didn’t mean what it does today. Although it was good to get out on a weekend and look at Celtic design in more detail, this show was not worth the ticket price.

The Samuel Pepys exhibition on the other hand was much more engaging and very rich in history and knowledge of the subject. The show goes through Charles I’s execution and Cromwell, up until William and Mary, and how Pepys gained and lost power with the changes in Monarchy. With manuscripts preserved as well as some of Pepys’ own belongings, I learnt much about the Naval practices of the time (Pepys was a notable naval administrator, becoming Chief Secretary to the Admiralty after much dedication), new scientific discoveries (Pepys was in fact president of the Royal Society for a while) and of course, the political tensions. It was all very well laid out and I’d certainly recommend the Pepys exhibition, which continues on until March 28 2016.