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Samuel Butler: Outing the Past

In partnership with the local LGBTQ+ community, we are hosting a new temporary exhibition to coincide with LGBT History Month in February 2019.

The exhibition will feature author, artist, photographer and one time New Zealand sheep farmer Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902).

An image of Samuel Butler who will feature in an exhibition in celebration of LGBT History Month at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Butler is most known for his satirical novels ‘Erewhon’ (published anonymously in 1872) and ‘The Way of All Flesh’ (published posthumously in 1903), a semi-autobiographical novel which attacks Victorian family values.

Butler had strong connections to Shrewsbury; his grandfather (also Samuel) was headteacher at the Shrewsbury School, he himself was a pupil, he owned a prominent mansion house in the town (Whitehall in Cherry Orchard) and named four streets in the area, including Alfred Street after his clerk Alfred Cathie.

Samuel Butler’s father Thomas was a noted local botanist and donated over 220 plant specimens to the museum. Samuel Butler also had a long correspondence with naturalist, geologist and biologist Charles Darwin, who was born and grew up in Shrewsbury.

Members of the local LGBT community and Museum volunteers have been working together to plan, research, interpret and design the exhibition.

It will include items on loan from St Johns College Cambridge and items from SM&AG and Shropshire Archives. These include photographs of people and places around Shrewsbury taken by Samuel Butler.

The exhibition has been part funded by the West Midlands Museums Development Trust Small Grants Programme.

The exhibition will be on display throughout February 2019 at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury SY1 1LH.


Cuddly, friendly bears have featured in numerous books for children since the ‘invention’ of the Teddy Bear in the early 1900s and many of these stories introduced us to beloved characters that became staples of our childhoods.

Starting on Saturday 16 February 2019, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG) invites you to come face-to-face with your favourite bears in their new exhibition – Bears!

On your journey through the exhibition, you will meet some of the most loveable and cuddly bears like Winnie the Pooh and Paddington bear among others. But it’s important to remember that not all bears are nice as you discover the scary bear under the stairs which is sure to keep you on your toes.

An image of a boy in the bear cave reading a children's book with a big smile on his face. Visit Bears at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery from February to April 2019.

During your visit you will also get to hunt for bears in the bear forest and enjoy original manuscripts and illustrations from Phillip Pullman, Michael Rosen, Martin Waddell, Julia Donaldson and many more.

You can bring your own special bear to the Museum and read a bedtime story in the cosy bear cave.

This exhibition is suitable for bear fanatics of all ages.

Things to do for children and families

As you walk around the gallery, children will be guided by Otto, the Book Bear (from the book of the same name by Katie Cleminson). Otto speaks to us in easy to read sentences, mounted at a child’s level.

Otto has left us a trail of his paw prints all over the floor of the gallery, which visitors can follow from one section to another. His messages are found at least once in each section of the exhibition.

During Bears! stay at SM&AG, there will be a series of workshops and events perfect for families and children. Take part in a ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘Bear, Sing and Share’!

Bears is open until Sunday 28 April 2019.

This is an exhibition developed by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books.

KS1,2&3 Landscape Tour & Art Workshop

Landscape Tour & Art Workshop


Pupils tour the museum galleries to look closely at the collection of landscape paintings on display.  Pupils will discover how the artisit has used their choice of media to evoke a sesnse of place and will learn a landscape vocabulary to describe the paintings. Pupils then create their own landscape using either:

Watercolour paints

Collagraph printing


half day workshop 10.00am  – 12.00pm or 12.30pm – 2.30pm + FREE entry to the museum galleries

Cost: £95 per workshop per class

Contact [email protected] 01743 258881/258884 for further information or to book.

Download the schools workshop brochure here:Workshop Programme 2018 / 2019


16th February to 28th April 2019

We are excited to announce the arrival of a very special exhibition in February 2019 as we embark on a bear-illiant teddy bear adventure with an exhibition inspired by the wonderful world of bears in children’s literature. This delightful exhibition features original illustrations and manuscripts from Martin Waddell, Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury. Michelle Paver, Philip Pulman and many more. Bring a bear, bounce a bear and sing some beary good songs! 45 minutes of active participation for the museum’s youngest visitors followed by a bear themed craft to take away.

Cost £60 per class + FREE entry to the museum galleries

Session times : 10am-11.30am or 12.30pm-2pm (timings can be changed to suit your timetable) 

Contact [email protected] 01743 258881/258884 for further information or to book

Download our schools workshop brochure here:Workshop Programme 2018 / 2019

Shropshire Regimental Museum: Talks Programme

Shrewsbury Castle and Shropshire Regimental Museum invite you to join them for a series of intriguing talks about Shropshire’s military history and the fascinating story of the Castle itself.

Friday 28 September 2018
“Verdun, the Battle that changed the 20th century” with Phillip Stevens

Shrewsbury Castle
Starts 7.30pm
Drinks available from 7pm

Friday 12 October 2018A black and white image of World War One soldiers on a ship following victory in the Great War. Learn more in the talks at Shrewsbury Castle.
“How the Allies won the First World War in 1918” with Gary Sheffield

Copthorne Army Reserve Centre
Starts 7.30pm
Drinks available from 7pm

An image of Shrewsbury Castle through the arch. Learn more about Shrewsbury Castle during the talks programme on Friday 30 November 2018.

Friday 30 November 2018
“The Hidden Hand of Genius: Robert Adam, the Pulteney’s and Shrewsbury Castle” with Gareth Williams
Shrewsbury Castle
Starts 7.30pm
Drinks available from 7pm



Friday 5 January 2019
“German prisoners of war in Britain 1945-1948” with Professor Dieter Steinert
Shrewsbury Castle
Starts 7.30pm
Drinks available from 7pm

Friday 22 February 2019
“Battle of Le Cateau, 26 August 1914” with Spencer Jones
Shrewsbury Castle
Starts 7.30pm
Drinks available from 7pm

All talks tickets are £10 per person (£7 for “Friends of Shropshire Regimental Museum”) and can be booked here or you can email [email protected]


Titanic: Honour and Glory – Events

Titanic has become one of the most famous Ocean Liners in the world; from her conception to her premature demise, Titanic’s legend continues to fascinate. This touring exhibition comes to us from Titanic: Honour and Glory, which has one of the largest collections of Titanic and White Star Line artefacts in the UK.

Running alongside this stunning exhibition are a series of events that are sure to capture the imagination of adults and children alike.

Ceramic Titanic – 28 July and 4 August 11am-12.30pm, £8 per person

Seaside Songs with Sally Tonge – 1 and 22 August, standard admission entry (Under 5’s free)


Titanic: Honour and Glory

Discover and experience the story of the world’s most famous ocean liner this summer at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in the latest special exhibition, Titanic: Honour and Glory.

Open from Monday 2 July 2018, Titanic: Honour and Glory allows and encourages you to delve further into the great ocean liner’s history and personally come face-to-face with its’ incredible story.

From her conception to her premature demise, the legend of Titanic continues and is expertly portrayed through many rare and previously unseen awe inspiring artefacts from the ship itself and props from the hugely popular James Cameron movie.

Once you are immersed in the history of Titanic, you can re-create the famous Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet moment on the prow of the ship on the Balcony overlooking the Shropshire Gallery.

As well as Titanic, this exhibition preserves the history of the White Star Line to which the famous ocean liner belonged, allowing you to experience and engage with Olympia and her lesser known sister ship, Britannic and the fleet of ships that once sailed under the distinctive swallow tailed flag of the legendary White Star Line.

Titanic: Honour and Glory is open until Sunday 30 September 2018.

Miniature Marvels: Celebrating one man’s passion for precision model engineering

In an age of 3D scanning and printing, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is proud to celebrate the art of precision model engineering in a new exhibition, ‘Miniature Marvels’.

For over 80 years local engineer Victor Pugh has hand-built his remarkable collection of over 20 working scale replicas, ranging from steam locomotives, stationary engines, and fire pumps. ‘Miniature Marvels’ is open until Sunday 15 April 2018.

Victor has always had a passion for engineering and amateur radio.  After leaving school in 1935, he attended evening classes in science, engineering, drawing and metalworking.  He went on to follow in his Father’s footsteps and became an apprentice electrician.  However, the outbreak of World War Two paused his studies.  Victor joined the Volunteer Royal Air Force as a Radio Operator, later becoming an Instrument Mechanic.  In 1941 he became a Japanese Prisoner of War and spent the rest of the War forced to build airfields in the jungles of Sumatra. After the War, Victor completed his studies and began work with the Midland Electricity Board where he eventually became the First Engineer.

However, outside Work, Victor miniaturised his engineering skills to produce both Region and National award winning models.  Every one of his models is carefully researched with numerous photographs used to scale down every detail.  In order to produce many of these tiny components, he had to first miniaturise his own tool kit.  Victor painstakingly built tidy lathes and hand tools to produce every part he needed from threaded screws to working pistons.

“The detail on Vic’s models in astounding.” Says Curator, Emma-Kate Lanyon.  “However, we are now at a point where model engineering may soon disappear. We are at risk of losing the skills which have been mastered and perfected by model makers like Vic. Today’s twenty-first century children create virtual worlds on Minecraft, rather than picking up a magnifying glass and hacksawn.  So I hope that the quality of Vic’s work might inspire another generation.  At the very least it will showcase the talents and, to quote Vic, “mispent youth” of one man.”

Miniature Marvels’ is open from Friday 19 January 2018 until Sunday 15 April 2018.

We’re going on Mammoth Hunt (EYFS)

We’re Going on a Mammoth Hunt


Join us for a mammoth story and song session in the museum’s prehistory gallery and discover fascinating facts about our collection of mammoth bones. This fun-filled workshop for the museum’s youngest visitors encourages  ctive participation, creativity and linguistic development. Hunt for mammoths in the museum galleries then make a clay mammoth to take away. Cost of workshop: £60 (maximum of 30 children)


Mammoth Vertebra 3D Model Collection

From Object Number: G.10767


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