TWO Egyptian mummies were yesterday transported into storage in a less than royal fashion – in a box van.

Even though the transport was not the most salubrious on offer, they were treated with the utmost care and deference.

Segedunum Roman Fort , in Wallsend, North Tyneside, bade farewell to its most popular guests, as they made their way to Beamish Museum, in Stanley, County Durham, before their final journey to the Great North Museum – due to open in Newcastle in April next year.

Irt-Irw, a 2,500-year-old mummy found in an ornate coffin in Thebes, Egypt, when Napoleon invaded in 1798, and Bakt-Hor-Nekht, who is still inside her coffin, left their temporary home yesterday.

The mummies and their coffins were placed in specially designed crates to ensure a safe journey, and conservation officer Rachel Metcalfe was on hand to ensure that everything went smoothly.

Geoff Woodward, manager of North Tyneside Museums, said: “It’s been a delight to have the mummies and the Land of the Pharaohs exhibition at Segedunum.

“It’s given visitors the opportunity to explore two great ancient cultures and also to see how the Romans were as fascinated with Ancient Egypt as we are.

“More than 74,000 people have visited the exhibition.”

On Saturday, November 1, the Tudor Lives exhibition returns to Segedunum. A rich man’s parlour and kitchen have been recreated, and are displayed alongside interactive exhibits and real Tudor objects to show the realities of life nearly 500 years ago.

Segedunum Roman Fort is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Entry is free for under-16s, while adult admission is £3.95, and for concessions £2.25.

For more information and a full listing of activities and events go to