Exploring the past and imagining the future of Shrewsbury Quarry

Take a step back in time and a giant stride into the future to learn more about Shrewsbury’s Quarry on Sunday 18 November 2018 as part of a UK-wide festival of humanities.

Co-organised by Dr Liz Oakley-Brown (Senior Lecturer in English Literature) and Dr Anna Mackenzie (Deputy Head of Events) of Lancaster University, with independent Shrewsbury researcher Advolly Richmond and artist Jamila Walker, the day will include free interactive talks, a guided walk, and creative activities at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and on site at The Quarry.

The Being Human Festival of the Humanities runs each year, celebrating on-going research and events within the humanities and supporting free events across the country to attract a public audience. As part of this Festival, the literary, social and historical past, present and future of Shrewsbury Quarry (now a 29-acre historic park) will be explored through a range of family-friendly activities.

Dr Mackenzie and Dr Oakley-Brown are Early Modernists with research interests in drama performed in what may be seen as non-traditional spaces and are both fans of Shrewsbury itself. Entitled ‘Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Exploring the Past; Imagining the Future’, the day will feature:

Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Origins and Legacy – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Vaughan’s Suite, 11:00am to 12:00pm. Booking required.

Delivered by garden historian Advolly Richmond, this illustrated talk considers how the Quarry has functioned as an important social space since the 16th century, and asks how that legacy might be developed for future local communities.

A image of a black and white illustration of Shrewsbury and the Quarry.Walking the Quarry – meeting at the main entrance to the Quarry (at the blue gates). Booking required.

Join Advolly Richmond, a garden historian, on a guided tour of the park, discussing key features on the Quarry. Please meet at the main entrance to the Quarry by the blue gates ready for 1pm.

As with any outdoors activity in November, it is advisable to bring layers and waterproofs. Fingers crossed for a dry day!

Crafting the Quarry – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Walker Suite 11:30am to 2:30pm. No booking required, but room capacity is limited.

A family-friendly drop in print making session with visual artist Jamila Walker, using natural found objects from the Quarry. Open to all ages and all children must be accompanied. No artistic skills required.

Playing the Quarry in Shakespeare’s England – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Vaughan’s Suite 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Booking required.

A little known fact about the Quarry is its references within literature. This is an informal workshop about the Quarry’s hidden theatrical and literary past with Dr Anna Mackenzie and Dr Liz Oakley-Brown. Come and hear about Shrewsbury’s Renaissance theatre scene, and also learn about how space was used both on and with the stage to create drama by Shakespeare and other playwrights.

Fay Bailey, Learning and Communications Manager at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, said:

“We are excited to be working with Lancaster University to deliver a series of talks and activities that encourage people to explore the rich history of The Quarry and Shrewsbury.

“We are working hard to attract families and history lovers to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and the town as a whole and being part of the Being Human Festival is a wonderful opportunity for us. We’re all looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Museum and are confident everyone will enjoy their experience with us.”

Dr Anna Mackenzie of Lancaster University, said:

“One of the big appeals of this event is the breadth of activities. We hope that there will be something for everyone, from a guided tour of the Quarry and a talk about Shrewsbury’s Early Modern theatre, to an illustrated talk on the Quarry and print making. We are delighted to link up with Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on this exciting event.”

Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, also of Lancaster University, added:

“As an aspiring Salopian and an Early Modernist, Shrewsbury has so many draws for me, both personally and for my research.

“We are really looking forward to presenting some new ideas on Shrewsbury and the Quarry’s Renaissance performance spaces. We hope people will come along, enjoy the day and get involved.”

The sessions for ‘Shrewsbury’s Quarry: Exploring the Past; Imagining the Future’ can be booked through Eventbrite and you can also follow the event on Twitter.

Being Human 2018 is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Half-term magic at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

A magic, mystical adventure awaits this October half-term as Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery invites you to celebrate Museums at Night with a host of magical events.

Visitors will have the chance to make a magic wand or witches broom, explore the art of potion making and spell writing, experience magic shows and a host of magical creatures.

At 5pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be screened on the Balcony giving visitors and their families the perfect museum setting to sit back and relax.

An image of a child wearing a witches hand casting a spell with her wand. She is in a wooden room surrounded by pumpkins. Museums are Magic is happening throughout October half-term 2018 at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

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

“Last year’s Museums are Magic weekend proved to be hugely popular among families so it’s fantastic to see Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery running this event again.

“Museums are Magic offers families a different, but wonderful and interactive way to engage with the Museum and its collections, and this year there will be magical adventures throughout the October half-term week.”

“Last years’ event saw the Museum bustling with magical activity so I would encourage families to pay a visit.”

You can book your tickets for Museums are Magic online here or by popping into the Visitor Information Centre as you enter the Museum.

Following the Museums are Magic weekend, lots of fun magical craft activities will be available every day from Monday 29 October until Sunday 4 November plus a special Halloween Lego® workshop where you can create a spooky castle.

What’s On!

Saturday 27 October – Rob Chapman

Experience marvellous magic shows with magician Rob Chapman at 11am and 2pm (shows last one hour)

Sunday 28 October – Magical Creatures

Magical Creatures with ‘Animal Man’ Simon Airey at 11am and 12pm (shows last one hour)

Monday 29 October – Sunday 4 November

Drop in for magical crafts which will be available every day!

Wednesday 31 October – Lego® Spooky Castles

Join us for a special Halloween LEGO® workshop and create a spooky castle.

LEGO® maestro Rob Spinks from ‘Bricks n’ Tricks’ will guide you through the build and light up your castle at the end of the workshop!

You find more information by clicking here.

 

 

Free entry at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in heritage celebration

In celebration of Heritage Open Days, we are delighted to be offering free entry on Sunday 9 September 2018.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to experience the amazing collections on display that bring over 650 million years of history to life.

As well as free entry, we are thrilled to be offering FREE guided tours of the Museum giving you the opportunity to explore the collections more intimately than ever before. These tours will run at:

  • 12pm – 1pm
  • 2pm – 3pm

During your visit, you will come face-to-face with some of the best preserved mammoth bones

An image of a mother and daughter posing on a replica of the prow of the Titanic at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery are offering free entry and guided tours as part of the Heritage Open Day celebrations.

Family ‘reliving the voyage’ in Titanic: Honour and Glory

in the UK, take in one of the UK’s finest fossil collections, experience the Roman Gallery, and relive the voyage in the latest special exhibition, Titanic: Honour and Glory.

Come and discover the stories that make this county unique. Explore millions years of history through a thousand remarkable objects in the extraordinary set of buildings that house Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. From a medieval town house to an early Victorian Music Hall they span more than 750 years of history.

An image of brilliantly preserved Roman Tombstones in the Roman Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Roman Stones

During your visit, you can also visit stop. café bar, the Museum’s vibrant café bar, which provides the perfect spot for relaxing after visiting the Museum’s galleries or taking a break from taking in the town of Shrewsbury.

Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2015, over 4,800 events welcomed around three million visitors across England.

Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

 

NOTE: Participation on the guided tours will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Wilfred Owen 100: Film Festival comes to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

On Thursday 8 November 2018, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to be showing  ‘The Burying Party’ and ‘A Long Way Home’ as part of the Wilfred Owen 100 Film Festival.

This exciting double bill includes a Q&A session with the film makers chaired by Carl Hone, BBC Shropshire film reviewer.

The programme starts at 5pm and is expected to last about 3 hours. Refreshments will be available at Stop Café on the ground floor of the Museum & Art Gallery before the performance. There will be a short break between the two films.

Tickets: £9 (age 15+) plus booking fee. Click here to book your tickets.

The Burying Party (12A advisory, 2018, UK, director Richard Weston)

An image of a poster about The Burying Party which is being shown at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Wilfred Owen Film Festival

October 1918, the final month of World War I. Beginning with the extraordinary victory at Joncourt, war poet Wilfred Owen looks back on the final year of his life as the Manchesters march toward Sambre, a battle which will likely wipe out his entire regiment.

Looking back to Summer 1917, Owen remembers his admission to Craiglockhart Hospital due to shellshock, which led to the unlikely meeting with his literary idol Siegfried Sassoon. They begin a remarkable friendship that sees him introduce him to some of the most influential literary figures of his generation.

No longer a struggling poet, but convalescing with his contemporaries, Owen spends many spectacular bohemian days and nights in London. He forms a relationship with Charles Scott Moncrieff and is constantly reminded of the company’s incredible war records and experiences and decides to return to the front line.

While Owen approaches Sambre, he remembers his final goodbyes with his closest friends and loved ones as they edge closer to the monstrous anger of the guns, writing home to comfort his mother of his near-certain demise.

The Long Way Home (15 advisory, 2018, UK, director Jacob Lewis-Taylor), November, 2018

Silence falls on the Western Front.An image of a poster about 'The Long Way Home' which will be shown at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Wilfred Owen 100 Film Festival

In the aftermath of an horrific gas attack, the remnants of a small Shropshire Battalion, led by Capt. John Hemmingway – the younger son of the estate they all left behind – find themselves trapped on the British front line.

As the German guns fall silent and an impenetrable fog befalls no-man’s land, the final days of the war become a desperate bid for survival as Capt. Hemmingway fights to hold on to what little sanity he has left.

 

For more information, call 01743 258888 or email [email protected].

 

 

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery Getting Edible for Food Festival

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are offering exciting opportunities to plant, grow, make and eat as part of the Shrewsbury Food Festival in June.

An image of a banner for the workshops that are taking place at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with the Shrewsbury Food Festival

The Museum & Art Gallery have invited Lovelyland (a local social enterprise who inform, educate and inspire community groups and schools about where food comes from) to work with the local community to install an edible community garden at the museum. The garden be open from Saturday 23 June. It will tell fascinating stories about the plants and draw inspiration from the nationally significant Caughley blue and white ceramic collection at the museum.

Members of the public are invited to drop into the courtyard for a seed planting and potting up session with Lovelyland on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June from 11am–2pm. These sessions are FREE, appropriate for all ages and all materials will be provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own small ceramic container (for example a tea cup or tea pot) to plant and takeaway or, if they wish, add to the edible garden.

Thank you to everyone who has donated their blue and white china to be included in the edible garden. These may be planted up or incorporated into a new piece made by local mosaic artist Lindsey Kennedy.

During the festival weekend Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are also hosting workshops with ceramicist and teacher Stephanie Kelly:

  • On Saturday 23 June from 10am-12pm, create a textured tile good enough to eat!
    Inspired by the edible garden and the museum’s exciting ceramic collection. The workshop is £9 per participant and appropriate for all ages. Under 7s must be accompanied by an adult
  • On Saturday 23 June from 1pm-3pm, create a stunning and realistic cauliflower bowl. The workshop is £12 per participant and appropriate for adults and children aged 7+.

Booking is essential for both ceramic workshops. To book your place, please call 01743 258881 / 258888 or email [email protected]. All materials will be provided and your tile or bowl will be fired and made available to collect from the museum at a later date.

As well as these exciting one off opportunities the museum’s resident rodent Maximo Mouse will be leading a fruit and veg trail around the museum from May and June.

The events are part of a series of events aimed at welcoming new visitors to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

To find out more about Lovelyland and their growing projects visit their website www.lovelyland.co.uk.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery // The Square // SY1 1LH

Sensory Garden project: We need your help

We need your old blue & white china cups, plates, teapots and bowls for an exciting growing and planting project during Shrewsbury Food Festival in partnership with Lovelyland.

Lovelyland and Lindsey Kennedy will use your old crocks as part of a project to transform the courtyard outside stop. cafe at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery into a beautiful sensory garden.

Bring your unwanted china to our museum reception before Monday 11 June! Any donations for use in this project will be non-returnable.

An image of the blue and white china porcelain on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. This is part of one of the most important Caughley collections in the world.

Some of the Caughley collection on display

Shropshire Museums’ care for an internationally important collection of blue and white Caughley porcelain.

The Salopian China Manufactory was founded at Caughley, near Broseley in Shropshire by Thomas Turner around 1775. It was one of the most important factories of the late 18th century.

You can see a snapshot of this collection on display in our Shropshire Gallery.

For the latest news and updates from Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Katherine Plymley’s remarkable watercolours

Katherine Plymley was a painter of watercolours focusing mainly on insects. Katherine was 21 years old when her mother died in 1779 and herfather was already 63 years old. Katherine gave up any chance of marriage to look after him.

An image of a watercolour by Katherine Plymley. One of many watercolours by Plymley, this one features butterflies and caterpillars on the leaves of a plant.

Watercolour by Katherine Plymley

Unmarried and in her 40’s Katherine began studying and painting remarkable watercolours of insects.  Several prominent male entomologists of her time corresponded with her but it was not until her archive was placed on loan with Shropshire Museums and Archives in 1997 that the value of her research was fully appreciated.

Katherine Plymley’s memorial states that “They were women of superior minds which they had educated with great industry and devoted to the service of God. Of their fellow creatures, no persons, perhaps, of equal means, ever contributed more to the comfort of their nearer relatives, or the wants of an extended neighbourhood.”

 

 

#MuseumWeek #WomenMW

For the latest news and updates from Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Object in focus: Lady Hawyse de Powys seal matrix

Lady Hawyse de Powys (Lady Hawyse of Powis was born on 25 July 1291.  This seal matrix shows that she was a lady with a status of her own, able to write and sign documents, just like her husband but unlike most women of her day.

An image of a silver seal matrix belonging to Lady Hawyse de Powys dating back to the 14th century.

Seal Matrix of Lady Hawyse de Powys

She was known as Hawise Gadarn (the Hardy) as her immediate family died before she reached 18 years old.  In 1309, as an heiress but under age she became a ward of her uncles.  Because she was a woman, her four her uncles disputed her claim to inherit her father’s property, and sought to split the land between themselves and send her to live out rest of her life in a nunnery.

Hawise travelled to the Parliament of Shrewsbury and petitioned Edward II of England in person. She met with him twice, and on the second occasion he asked her to nominate someone to act on her behalf as the champion of her rights. She named John Charleton, whom she subsequently married. Together with Charleton and a company of English knights, she returned to Powys Castle and successfully defeated her uncles.

#MuseumWeek #WomenMW

For the latest news and updates, follow Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Laying the building blocks: Brick History exhibition breaks visitor records

The hugely popular Brick History exhibition has broken visitor figure records with 18,697 people visiting between 12 February and 15 April 2018 to be taken on a journey through 13.8 million years of history portrayed in Lego bricks.

With tiny recreations of Concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both peace and war, Brick History proved to be popular among people of all ages.An image of a father and his son looking at the Lego model of Rochester Castle with intrigue in the Brick History exhibition which is open at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery until Sunday 15 April 2018.

Children and adults alike were wowed by the intricate Lego displays and enjoyed the opportunity to display their own creative skills in the Lego playzone.

Figures show that 70% of total visitors to Brick History were families and children which is fantastic news for the future of Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

Fay Bailey, Learning & Communications Manager at Shropshire Museums, said:

“We are working hard to position Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery as a family friendly place to visit so to have had such a large proportion of our visitors to Brick History fall within this demographic is absolutely wonderful.

An image of a toddler playing with Lego in the playzone at the Brick History exhibition that was at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery between 12 February and 15 April 2018.

Toddler playing with Lego in the Brick History playzone

“We are thrilled that Brick History has proven to be so popular and delighted that our visitors had such an enjoyable experience with us. Our playzone provided opportunities for people of all ages to explore their creativity. We were very impressed with the fantastic models and designs.”

As Brick History is de-installed, it is time to look forward to the next special exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery… Titanic: Honour & Glory which opens on Monday 2 July 2018.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the great things happening and the exciting exhibitions and events coming up!

Inspiration on Subscription: New opportunity to be inspired by Museum collection

Local individuals and groups are being offered a new opportunity to be inspired by objects from Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery by borrowing a box of inspiration.

‘Inspiration on Subscription’ is a new, fun way to experience the museum collection within your own home, work place or group.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, with funds from Arts Council England, have created four boxes containing sensory items inspired by items in the museum’s collection. Each box also contains information about the contents and optional activity suggestions.

Participants are invited to take inspiration from the contents of the boxes and enjoy various self-determined activities; this may include cooking a meal, undertaking an art activity, writing a poem, having a conversation or going on a walk.

The beautifully crafted boxes are available to any Shropshire based group or individual for a loan of up to four weeks. Participants can also access a digital version of the boxes.

There is no charge for the service.

‘Inspiration on Subscription’ is part of a series of projects aimed at welcoming new visitors to Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and encouraging engagement with its fascinating, beautiful and surprising collection.

To borrow a box please contact Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on 01743 258881 or email [email protected].

There is also the option (for a fee) to hire an experienced facilitator, to run a session for you using your chosen box.

Please share your experience, photographs and/or comments using the hashtag #InspirationOnSubscription on our social media or via email to [email protected]