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.