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
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.
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.
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)
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
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 are offering exciting opportunities to plant, grow, make and eat as part of the Shrewsbury Food Festival in June.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
“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.
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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]
If it is EDU-tainment you are after, look no further than the Brick History exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. This is the latest marvellous model show to arrive in town from the Warren Elsmore emporium – of Brick City fame – and features defining moments and discoveries on earth from the big bang right through to modern day.
Snapshots of history are presented in vibrant, multi-coloured 3D, arranged in themes such as Transport, War & Conflict, Exploration, Equality and the Arts – from intricately recreated scientific triumphs such as the double helix and smallpox vaccine (complete with little vials!), to terracotta warriors, Vesuvius, Concorde and the Titanic. Stars of the show are a 1.5m recreation of Rochester Castle – the real one dates back to 1088 with 12 ft thick walls. The Lego® ‘stonework’ is astonishing and the children loved spotting the different foods and animals in the outbuildings.
I loved the first silent movie theatre – the audience all in colour and the screen in black and white – with the intricate mechanics of its projection booth and the Hong Kong skyline, to mark the handover in 1997.
We also enjoyed hearing about some of the techniques involved from lead creative designer Guy Bagley, such as ‘bram sphere’ to create special plates for globes and ‘Studs Not on Top’ or (SNOT) for building models outwards, rather than upwards.
Guy had a hand in most of the models, as he says, he is ‘paid to play’ and has been designing Lego® models for more than 35 years, all over the world. All the models are made with unglued, standard Lego bricks, put together by human hand: “The only way you can tell if something looks right is by good old-fashioned human eye,” Guy said.
Opening the exhibition, he explained: “We hope children will be enticed by the models and may notice something that might spark their curiosity and make them want to go away and find out more. They might say ‘look mum, why is that lady chained to the railings?’ and it will prompt further discussion.
“We have 13m years of history going right back to the dinosaurs and everything in between.”
The three winning models in the museum’s Brick History competition are also on display, including a spectacular design of The Flying Scotsman from Alfie Hembrow-Forrester (5-11 category) – spot the hidden Homer Simpson! – Super Mario gaming figures from Roger Lewis (17+) and Mount Vesuvius erupting in Pompeii from Cal Adlard (12-16).
Cal was at the opening with his famous dad – comic laureate Charlie Adlard (of the Walking Dead comics) – and mum Lynette. Cal said: “I wanted to capture how much of Pompeii has been preserved after the eruption and also the perspective, with the big volcano looming in the background.”
Guy Bagley added: “We loved the black figure climbing out of the lava. We call him charcoal man.”
Get your Brick History tickets online to avoid the queues. You will be delighted, diverted, engrossed, occasionally startled – and you might even learn a thing or two. The kids won’t let you miss the huge LEGO® play zone on Level 2. My 9-year-old managed to balance on top of a 7ft Lego tower he built himself. Maybe don’t try that.
Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until 15 April 2018. Admission £10 a family ticket (two adults and up to three children aged 5-17), or £7 family ticket (one adult and up to three children aged 5.17), or £4.50 adult, £2 child.
The March/April edition of My Shrewsbury is available now.
Made in 1851, this electrotype is a copy of a plaster model of the Moon’s surface centred on the crater Eratosthenes. Framed in a wooden case it was made by the amateur astronomer, Henry Blunt.
Henry Blunt (1806-1853) was a Chemist and Druggist in the family business on Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. Charles Darwin and his brother Erasmus obtained chemicals and equipment from the Blunt family shop for experiments in their laboratory at The Mount.
As well as being an accomplished amateur astronomer, Blunt was a gifted artist and pioneering photographer.
The model is based on observations of the Moon made by Blunt with his reflecting telescope from his home at Shrewsbury. The main crater in the electrotype corresponds to a lunar feature 28 miles across (45 km). It was exhibited at the 1851 World Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park and the model is described in the exhibition catalogue. It was later donated to the Science Museum by the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition where it is still on display today.
One of just a handful of surviving copies of the Crater Model is on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery having been kindly loaned to Shropshire Museums by one of Henry Blunt’s descendants.