Charlie Adlard exhibition attracts thousands

The Drawn of the Dead exhibition proved to be a success at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG), attracting over 10,000 people.

The figures make Drawn of the Dead one of the most visited exhibitions to be hosted at SM&AG.

Drawn of the Dead celebrated the work of the comic artist behind The Walking Dead, Charlie Adlard.

Drawn of the Dead showcased more than 80 of Charlie’s artworks from the Walking Dead, cult French comic Vampire State Building, Code Flesh and White Death as well as his life drawing.

An image of comic art from The Walking Dead by Charlie Adlard.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture, leisure, communications and waste, said:

We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to celebrate Charlie’s stunning work in the Drawn of the Dead exhibition and are pleased with its success.

While a large proportion of visitors to this exhibition were families, we were also hoping that this exhibition would help us attract new audiences to the Museum and this has proved to be a success which we are particularly pleased about.

I’d like to thank Charlie for allowing SM&AG to showcase his work and I hope everyone who visited the exhibition thoroughly enjoyed it.

Charlie Adlard, said:

It’s been an absolute honour to have an exhibition on this scale in my home town. I’ve been overjoyed with how it’s turned out and I cannot thank SM&AG enough for all the work they put in to make it a success.

A reduced version of the Drawn of the Dead exhibition will be on display at the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre in Ludlow in February 2020.

Discover more about SM&AG on the website or on social media.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and managed by Shropshire Council.

Christmas opening times

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG) is once again to remain open over the Christmas and New Year period for limited hours.

SM&AG will remain open as normal up to Sunday 22 December 2019, after which its Christmas opening hours will come into effect.

Shropshire Council works to keep SM&AG open during the festive season so Shropshire families and their visitors can explore the county’s history and engage with the stories the collections tell.

Christmas opening hours

23 – 26 December 2019 – Closed
27 – 29 December 2019 – OPEN from 11am – 3pm
30 December 2019 – 1 January 2020 – Closed

SM&AG will be open as normal from 2 January 2020.

Lost Shrewsbury exhibition

‘Lost Shrewsbury’ was created in partnership with local author and historian, David Trumper, whose has authored a new book of the same title.

An image in black and white of C. R. Birch & Son which was founded in 1909 and features in David Trumper's latest book, Lost Shrewsbury.

C. R. Birch & Son was founded in 1909

The exhibition will share with visitors the unseen history of Shrewsbury and will take you on a fascinating trip through Shrewsbury’s rich history and heritage with images not seen before.

Lost Shrewsbury will feature 40 slides containing images from the book and will.  All slides will be captioned by David Trumper.

Paintings of the Shrewsbury landscape from SM&AG’s own collection will also feature in the exhibition. Pieces of art included will be a fine painting of the Old Welsh Bridge by Paul Sandby and a view of the English Bridge by C. W. Radclyffe.

For more information about SM&AG’s opening hours, visit the website.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and operated by Shropshire Council.

Object of the Month – October 2019

October 21st is Reptile Awareness Day. With this in mind our Object of the Month is this weird looking Rhynchosaur Skull fossil.

An image of a rhynchosaur skull fossil that is the object of the month at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Rhynchosaur Skull fossil

Rhynchosaurs, now extinct, were a kind of beaked lizard type reptile which were common 220 million years ago during the middle Triassic Period. They made up an important part of terrestrial faunas before the rise of plant eating dinosaurs near the end of the Triassic. They were about half a meter long and had a narrow, wedge-shaped skull with a few small, blunt teeth and a beak which they used to munch on rough vegetation such as ferns and horsetails.

An image of a rhynchosaur model that is on display in the Geology section at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Model of how the rhynchosaur might have looked

This rhynchosaur skull fossil is from Grinshill, north of Shrewsbury. Back in the Triassic period this area of Shropshire was a hot desert on a lake margin. The rocks laid down were sand, silt and mudstones. In the late 1700s the sandstone from Grinshill began to be quarried for use in the construction of buildings in the county. This quarrying process uncovered various Triassic plant and animal fossils, including those of rhynchosaurs. Luckily, a member of the Shrewsbury Natural History Society kept a look out for these fossils during the quarrying, and many of the finds made there way eventually into the collection of Shrewsbury Museum in the 1800’s.

This particular specimen is scientifically important because it has been selected as a lectotype for the species. This means that it is the specimen with which other specimens are compared in order to name them as this species. As such, study of this specimen is ongoing. In fact, this spring it was taken for micro-CT scanning in Bristol, so researchers could study the braincase anatomy in more detail. Explore a 3D image of the rhynchosaur skull created by the Fossils in Shropshire project.

An image of the reverse side of the rhynchosaur fossil which is the object of the month at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Rhynchosaur Skull fossil reverse

There are more rhynchosaur fossils on display in the geology gallery at SM&AG, and many reptile specimens in Shropshire Museums’ collections including turtle shells and a snake preserved in alcohol.

Object of the Month is on display in the Visitor Information Centre and features on our social media feeds:

Object of the Month – September 2019 – Team GB Tracksuit

Shropshire has a strong connection to the Olympics as Much Wenlock is home to the Wenlock Olympian Games, which are thought to have inspired the modern Olympic Games that began in 1896.

It just so happens that National Sporting Heritage Day falls on Monday 30 September, so we thought our object of the month should reflect this. Therefore, we have chosen this Team GB tracksuit worn by archer, Alison Williamson, at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Along with items related to Wenlock Olympian Games we have a several items donated by sports men and women with a connection to the county.

Our object of the month is one of several outfits and items donated to Shropshire Museums by Alison Williamson, who competed in archery for Great Britain at six consecutive Olympic Games, from 1992 to 2012. Williamson’s highest Olympic achievement was winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Games in Athens.

For her services to archery she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours.

This tracksuit, given to Williamson for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, is made up of an Adidas jacket and trousers in the Team GB colours of red, white and blue. A great example of 1990s style, with large bright blocks of colour making it stand out from just any tracksuit is the inclusion of the British flags and Team GB branding. The tracksuit is made from the light weight and durable materials of polyester and nylon.

Williamson is a member the Long Mynd Archers, which is a club based in Church Stretton. There are several historic archery clubs in the county and you might be surprised to know that a great deal of the archers were women. The Archers of the Teme club was in fact founded by Lady Curtis of Caynham Court near Ludlow, in 1857.

Blog: Rosemary Thornes talks about volunteering

I am very interested in SM&AG. I believe that a thriving and forward-looking museum service is important not just for education, culture and recreation, but also for tourism. This is why I volunteer and I would like to tell you about two very different aspects of my volunteering.

An image of a volunteer of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, whose volunteering is invaluable.

Rosemary Thornes

First, I am a member of the Friends of the Museum. There are more than 300 of us and we are here to support the Museum. I am Secretary at the moment and enjoy liaising between the Museum and our members, aiming to keep Friends updated with Museum news and events. The Friends put on a series of lectures at the Museum and arrange visits to historic houses, other museums and exhibitions. We also provide financial support for purchases and programmes.

Second. I am also a volunteer at the Museum. I have been volunteering here for more than five years, ever since the new Museum opened on 1 April 2014. I just do half a day a week, as a Gallery Guide, on Sunday afternoons. The Museum seems to have difficulty finding volunteers for Sundays, perhaps because a lot of us are retired and have family responsibilities at the weekend, but I have settled into this little slot and rarely miss a session. This has one lovely consequence – I find myself working alongside young people, often students from local schools and colleges, such as the Sixth Form College and this is very refreshing. On the other hand, it also means that I do not get to know many other volunteers, unless they also happen to be members of the Friends.

When I started I was a bit doubtful about being a gallery guide. I’m not a natural conversationalist and in previous volunteer jobs I had always undertaken research or something in the back room, which seemed more in my nature. But the Museum provided training and over the years I have become more comfortable approaching visitors and talking to strangers. I think this experience, gained on Sunday afternoons, has improved my confidence in other situations when I might have allowed myself to be isolated.

An image of the Medieval Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
I am happy working in any part of the Museum but I like the Medieval Gallery best. I especially enjoy it when families come and I take the handling collection from the trolley and get the children to talk about the objects they are holding.

I am now in my late 70s, but am still fit and enjoying new experiences and situations. I admit to having the occasional lapse of memory, but the display posters and excellent notes in the gallery files are there to remind us all of the details. And so I hope to continue volunteering for a few more years.

I would encourage other people to join the Friends and, if they have half a day free, to volunteer. The staff at the Museum have always made me feel an integral part of the system and I feel as though I belong.

Rosemary Thornes, Volunteer and Secretary of the Friends of SM&AG

Volunteers have an invaluable role in enabling us to deliver our workshops, events, education programmes and much more. If you are interested in volunteering with us and joining our wonderful team, click here for more information or you can call (01743) 258885 or email [email protected].


Blog: Volunteering with Mini Mammoths

Back in 2014 when I started looking after my son full time I discovered a fantastic baby and toddler group at Shrewsbury Museum called ‘Mini Mammoths’. It was a wonderful and happy group and had something of an ‘educational’ spin. When my son reached school age we attended what I thought would be our last mini mammoths but then as I was going to be returning to college to work towards becoming a Teaching Assistant (which would involve a placement in a school) I thought volunteering and help out at Mini Mammoths would be a good thing for me to help with my course.

An image of a volunteer with a toddler helping him paint while volunteering during mini mammoths

Dominick Lack volunteering during mini mammoths

So in September 2018 I began as a volunteer at the group and have loved every minute of it. It has tied in very well with the course and I have learnt things in parallel. It is a great group to be part of and I have got to dress up and be silly and also to help out both the parents and the children.

I think it will be a nice addition to my CV and has already been a good talking point at interviews. It will be a shame for my time at mini mammoths to come to an end but I know that I have learnt much and been a happy and friendly helper in a fantastic setting for so many amazing people young and old.

Dominick Lack, Volunteer

Mini Mammoths

Mini Mammoths runs every Friday from 10 – 11.30am during term time. Due to popularity, we recommend booking your place in advance. You can do this by calling 01743 258881 / 258888 or email [email protected].

For more information about Mini Mammoths, click here.

Volunteering with us

Volunteers play an invaluable role in enabling us to deliver our workshops, events, education programmes and much more. If you are interested in volunteering with us and joining our wonderful team, click here for more information or you can call (01743) 258885 or email [email protected].


Object of the Month – June 2019

Butterfly Drawer

It’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day in June, so our Object of the Month is this drawer of butterflies from a cabinet of specimens collected by John Norton.

Many of the butterflies in this drawer are around 60 years old.  They were collected by John Norton, who was Curator of Ludlow Museum 1959 – 1989.  John was well known in the county as an inspirational Natural Historian and Geologist who did a great deal to interpret and promote the Museum Collections.  In this drawer, John has added small species distribution maps and paintings to illustrate the butterflies and caterpillars, all to increase understanding of these wonderful creatures and the collection.

The cabinet from which this drawer was taken is similar to butterfly cabinets that would have been found in the homes of many middle-class families during the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Victorians believed that the study of natural history contributed to good mental health.  Consequently, during the 19th century, the collection of things like birds, shells, wildflowers and butterflies became very popular hobbies.  As you can imagine, many people capturing and killing plants and animals for their collections had a significant impact on nature and sadly, several species have gone extinct due to this over collecting.

However, the popularity of collecting plants and animals during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries played an important role in building natural history collections.  Many local museums, including those in Shropshire, evolved from private collections and the societies that emerged around the hobby of collecting.  These collections and learned groups were also important in the emergence of professional biological disciplines.

Butterfly collections such as our Object of the Month can be used as a teaching tool and as the basis for research.  Not only can the butterflies be inspected, and changes in species noted through time, but where there is collection location information, variations in population distribution can also be studied.  Unfortunately, none of this can help us conserve and protect the butterflies we have around today.

Luckily, the taste for collecting butterflies has virtually disappeared in the UK.  Instead, butterfly enthusiasts are now being encouraged to collect information and digital images of the creatures to help scientists and conservators keep track of these important pollinators.

There are many wonderful natural history specimens waiting to be discovered in our Shropshire Gallery and even more available for research at Shropshire Museums’ Collections Centre in Ludlow.

Object of the Month is on display in the Visitor Information Centre and features on our social media feeds:

@shrewsmuseum      @shrewsburymuseum      @shrewsburymuseum

Drawn of the Dead coming to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Join us as we prepare to open a new exhibition ‘Drawn of the Dead’ celebrating the work of internationally famous comic artist and Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard.

An image of the artwork to promote the new exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Drawn of the Dead. Original work by Charlie Adlard will feature in Drawn of the Dead.

Drawn of the Dead will open on Saturday 1 June 2019 in partnership with the Comics Salopia festival which brings a stunning selection of comic artists to the county as well as celebrating the county’s home-grown talent.

In this exciting new exhibition you will find a stunning selection of Charlie’s original works from the Walking Dead comic series displayed alongside immersive, set piece installations created by sculptor Andrew Bryden.

AMC’s blockbusting television show, The Walking Dead, now in its 9th season is a spin off from the revered comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and Shropshire’s own Charlie Adlard.

This unique exhibition extends to the museum balcony where you will see the breadth of Charlie’s work beyond The Walking Dead. Images from cult French comic Vampire State Building are displayed alongside Charlie’s life drawing and original books Code Flesh and White Death.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“Shrewsbury and Shropshire has a huge amount of creative talent and I’m thrilled that Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, having partnered with the new Comic Festival, are able to display some of this work.

“Charlie Adlard’s work is internationally famous so it’s fantastic that we are able to display some of his original artwork in what will be exciting and interactive visitor experience. I can’t wait to see it!”

Charlie Adlard, said:

“I’m incredibly proud to have this exhibition in my home town. And, not only is it here in Shrewsbury, but it’ll be the best exhibition of my works staged anywhere. It’s going to be a truly immersive experience.”

SM&AG will be working with education sector partners including Nottingham Trent University. The aim is to give opportunities to students on theatre design courses to work with SM&AG on the build of the exhibition.

For more information about Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, click here.

Shrewsbury Comic Festival

Shrewsbury Comic Festival will take place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June 2019.

SM&AG will be running a host of special events, workshops, talks and book signings over the course of the Comic Festival.

The Comic Festival will take place at a number of venues across Shrewsbury and will celebrate the work of Charlie Adlard and many other famous comic artists who call the town home.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and operated by Shropshire Council.

Further Information

About Charlie Adlard

Charlie began his work in the UK on the 2000 AD series including Judge Dredd and Armitage. He also worked on White Death with the local Robbie Morrison. In the United States, he is best known for his work on The X-Files, Marvel and DC comics and The Walking Dead.

He has been the penciller on The Walking Dead since 2004 and was the UK Comics Laureate from February 2017 – February 2019.

Object of the Month – May 2019


It’s Zombie Awareness Month and our ‘Drawn of the Dead’ exhibition is on the horizon. This exciting exhibition features some of the original artwork produced by Shropshire’s Charlie Adlard for the hugely popular ‘The Walking Dead’. So it seemed appropriate to us that our object of the month for May be this pest controlling crossbow [H.06225].

An image of a bullet crossbow. The bullet crossbow is the Object of the Month at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and can be seen in the Visitor Information Centre.

Bullet type crossbow (H.06225) Photographs by Jeremy Hall.


This is an English, bullet shooting, crossbow dating from the early nineteenth century. It would have been used for hunting small animals like rooks. Earlier styles of crossbows fired stones and clay pellets, but bullet shooting bows like this one were designed to be more accurate and damaging, using half ounce balls of lead as their ammunition.

Box lock with Catch, Trigger, and Sight

To load the weapon the string must be pulled back and secured on the hook shaped catch. This crossbow has a built in bending lever to make this process easier. This leaver is attached by a hinge to the box lock, where the catch and the trigger button are positioned. Also on the box lock is a sight with five sighting holes. It is engraved with pretty leaf scrolls. At the front end is the less pretty but equally practical, ‘U’ shaped foresight.

Select your weapon wisely…

Unlike guns, crossbows are quiet when fired. This means you can take a shot without scaring off your prey or alerting others to your presence. This made them popular with poachers in Tudor England. It’s also why they may just be the perfect weapon for use in a zombie uprising.


If a dawn of the dead situation were to occur in Shropshire, there are several weapons on display around Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery which could be utilised alongside this crossbow. However, an even better place to find yourself would be Shropshire Museums Collection Centre in Ludlow, where an array of historic weapons are stored, and ideal for the fight against the undead.

Arms and Armour Catalogue

For those that like to be prepared and in the know, a full catalogue of the Arms and Armour in Shropshire Museums collection is available for purchase. This wonderful and detailed catalogue was produced in memory of photographer, and former volunteer for Ludlow Museum, Jeremy Hall.

Object of the Month is on display in the Visitor Information Centre and features on our social media feeds:

@shrewsmuseum      @shrewsburymuseum      @shrewsburymuseum

Family fun this Easter with Shropshire Museums

Join Shropshire Museums this Easter holiday for a whole host of family and child friendly events, arts and crafts sessions and trails.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shrewsbury Castle and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm are running events perfect for the whole family from Sunday 14 – Wednesday 24 April including some special Easter themed fun.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Join us for Bear themed sessions and events and visit our current special exhibition, Bears!

An image of a mother and her young son who is holding a teddy bear, reading a book in the bear cave in the Bears exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Visit the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on 30 or 31 March 2019 and get free entry.

Reading in the bear cave in the Bears exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Paddington 2 will be screened on Wednesday 17 April on the balcony in the Museum.

Join storyteller Sally Tonge for Bear, Sing and Share on Tuesday 16 and 23 April at 11am for some Easter holiday magic.

An image of storyteller Sally Tonge who will be hosting Bear, Sing and Shine over the Easter school holidays at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Storyteller, Sally Tonge will be hosting Bear, Sing & Shine over the Easter holidays

For more information about Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, click here and you can see the full list of events here.

Shrewsbury Castle

Shrewsbury Castle will be open throughout the Easter holidays including Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

An image of Shrewsbury Castle and it's pristine grounds. Neatly mowed lawns and a well kept path lead to the front of the remarkably well preserved castle.

Shrewsbury Castle

During Easter, children will be able to take part in the hugely popular teddy bear hunt encouraging them to delve into the collections and note where they find the bears and what is around them.

Usually opened only once a year, Laura’s Tower will be open on Easter Sunday giving visitors a rare opportunity to enter and explore, free of charge.

An image of Laura's Tower at Shrewsbury Castle with green trees to the right and ivy growing up the side. Laura's Tower is open for the Heritage Open Days festival.

Laura’s Tower at Shrewsbury Castle (©Chris Glover)

For more information about Shrewsbury Castle, click here.

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm will be running family and child friendly Easter demonstrations throughout the school holidays.

Join the team for grooming the shire horses, chick holding, bottle feeding the lambs and a guided tour of the Victorian farm yard every day during the holidays.

An image of a toddler stroking a lamb that is being held by a farm worker keeping alive the heritage of a Victorian Farm.

Toddler meets the lambs at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

Easter events at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm will be running from Sunday 14 to Wednesday 24 April. For more information about the events, click here.

All three of these attractions are open during the Easter bank holiday weekend.


Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shrewsbury Castle and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm are owned and operated by Shropshire Council.