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.

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!

An Evening on Rural Women presented by Pentabus Theatre Company 

Come and hear different perspectives exploring the role of women in rural communities, from Land Girls to the contemporary WI. Featuring a panel of feminists, journalists, experts and writers on Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on 16 February, 7,30pm.

Chaired by local and national radio presenter Vicki Archer, the panel will discuss topics including the misconceptions around the roles that women have played in rural life and what it means to be rural women in the 21st century.An image of Vicki Archer in a radio studio smiling to the camera. She will be chairing An Evening with Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018

Agnes Greatorex, The Women’s Land Army, 1919 famously said:“I think the First World War did change women. Because once we’d had a taste we wouldn’t go back to service, we were free.” 

The panel for the evening includes:

  • Joan Bomford –  Countryfile Farming Hero 2015 veteran farmer (Farming since the 1930s, still active at 85 on the farm, author of  Up With The Lark: My Life on the Land)
  • Kate Innes – Author and poet (trained in archaeology and museology, her books include ‘The Errant Hours’ set in Medieval Shropshire, and ‘Flocks of Words’ a collection of poetry about the rural mythic landscape)
  • Polly Gibb – Director of WiRE – Women in Rural Enterprise, awarded OBE for services to rural enterprise, and one HRH Prince Charles’ 10 Heroes of the Countryside
  • Sophie Motley – Pentabus Theatre Company’s Artistic Director (on behalf of playwright Matt Hartley, Here I Belong)
  • Celia Rawlings – Chairman of Shropshire Federation of Women’s Institutes
  • Amanda Jones – Founder of Shropshire Supports Refugees.

Each of the speakers will present for up to 10 minutes, followed by a group discussion and an opportunity for questions from the audience – we’d love to hear from as many of you as possible, including men!

The evening will also include Pentabus Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Sophie Motley discussing the inspiration behind Matt Hartley’s new play, Here I Belong which was commissioned by Pentabus Theatre Company and shall be re-touring nationally during Spring 2018 due to high demand.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 concessions and can be purchased by following this link.

Journey through history in LEGO® at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

2018 is set to get off to a thrilling start at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with the arrival of Lego: Brick History in February 2018.

Opening on Friday 9 February, Lego: Brick History takes you on a journey through pivotal moments in world history, modelled in Lego® bricks.

Experience historical moments and periods from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings.

Here is a sneak preview of Lego: Brick History brought to life…

This exhibition has something for people of all ages. From 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 piece and war, there is something for all to be amazed by and to admire.

Children and adults alike are sure to be inspired by this exhibition and eager to build their own LEGO® models.

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

“LEGO was a hugley popular exhibition when it visited in 2015 with over 14,000 people visiting the Museum during its’ five week stay, so it’s fantastic that it is returning.

“Brick History has something that people of all ages can enjoy. Young and old will have an affinity with LEGO bricks, whether it be those who enjoy building with them now, or those who have fond memories of building the most epic of models back in the day. I can’t wait for this incredibly exciting exhibition to open.”

Warren Ellsmore, creator of Brick History, said:

“We’re all very excited here to be coming back to Shrewsbury after the success of Brick City. Brick History is one of our brand new exhibitions and has proved to be hugely popular since it opened in Newcastle just last year. Trying to reflect the whole history of the world in LEGO bricks was a challenge, especially as we decided to focus on perhaps some of lesser known heroes and landmarks of the past – some of which are still very close to Shrewsbury!”

Bringing a sense of community into Lego: Brick History, this exhibition will feature the models created by our 3 ‘Build your own model’ competition winners!

LEGO: Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from 9 February – 15 April 2018.

To find out more about Warren Elsmore and his touring LEGO© bricks exhibitions, visit http://warrenelsmore.com/brickhistory/.

Music for Dogs at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to be hosting two performances of the acclaimed play, Music for Dogs in January 2018.

‘A funny and moving account of how one woman accidentally makes a fortune’

Music for Dogs is a black comedy written by award-winning Irish poet and playwright Paula Meehan and performed by Irish actress Carol Caffrey and is set during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger years.

The action takes place on Dublin’s Burrow Beach as a woman, Jane MacDonald, records a message for her estranged brother and sister. Janey’s story describes the very funny – if somewhat dubious – means by which she came to make the fortune she is leaving to her siblings. Though the context of Janey’s personal tragedy is a dark one, her essential humanity and joy in life are very much to the fore.

The performances will be on:

Friday 12 January 2018 @ 1.10pm – 1.50pm
Saturday 13 January 2018 @ 1.10pm – 1.50pm

Tickets cost just £5 and can be purchased from Shrewsbury Visitor Information Centre or by calling 01743 258888.An image of a dog wearing biker gear riding a motorbike carrying a retro music player with a yellow sky in the background as the sun sets over a silhouetted city.

What have others said about ‘Music for Dogs’?

“Music for Dogs is absolutely riveting… The script is so poetic… Carol Caffrey is brilliant…  It’s the best kind of play… great writing and wonderful performing.”  BBC Radio Scotland

“Music for Dogs – a moving and powerful piece of theatre” – Irish Post

“Music for Dogs is a great, well-written piece… with a revealing poetic narrative. At times very funny at others sad, I had tears in my eyes… Carol Caffrey is a consummate actor. I highly recommend it.” Wendy Thomson, Female Arts

For more information about Music for Dogs, click here.

See What’s On at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in 2018!

An evening on Rural Women

Pentabus Theatre Company is delighted to be hosting An Evening on Rural Women chaired by local and national presenter and writer, Vicki Archer.

An image of Vicki Archer in a radio studio smiling to the camera. She will be chairing An Evening with Rural Women at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018

Vicki Archer will be chairing the evening

The event will be held at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 16 February 2018 from 7.30pm.

The evening will explore the role of women in rural communities, from Land Girls to the contemporary WI and features a panel of feminists, journalists, experts and writers.

Attendees will also be able to discuss the inspiration behind, Here I Belong, which due to demand will be re-touring nationally this spring 2018.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 concessions and can be purchased by following this link.

Depressed Cake Shop Pops Up in Shrewsbury

Local cafes and bakers have been challenged to create delicious grey cakes for an upcoming event, a Depressed Cake Shop, aiming to get people talking about mental health.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with Shropshire Mind, will be hosting a Depressed Cake Shop on Tuesday 10 October from 11am-2pm at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LH.An image of a grey cake with a multi-coloured inside with a banner at the top advertising the depress cake shop at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on Tuesday 10 October from 11am until 2pm.

The pop-up will take place on World Mental Health Day and will be raising funds for Shropshire Mind (Reg. Charity No. 1003117)

Many of Shrewsbury’s cafes and bakeries have volunteered to bake for the event – with one proviso – all of the baked goods on sale will have an element of grey to signify the grey cloud that can descend over someone who is struggling with mental health issues.

Stop. Coffee Shop, Ginger & Co and O’Joy are among the many bakers whose delicious and poignant treats will be on sale.

Everyone is welcome at the event.

Fay Bailey of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, said:

“Shrewsbury has a wealth of baking talent and we are very excited to see how that creativity will be put to use to make ‘depressed’ yet delicious grey cakes, while at the same time raising funds for Shropshire Mind and raising awareness of an increasingly important issue.”

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, said:

“Museums are diverse places so it’s great that Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are working with local charities such as Shropshire Mind and local businesses to become even more inclusive to all, while at the same time raising awareness of an important and relevant subject through the Depressed Cake Shop.”

Heather Ireland, Manager at Shropshire Mind said:

“Approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year.

That is why we want to use World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of these issues here on our doorstep in Shropshire.”

The Depressed Cake Shop movement was started in London in 2013 as a unique way to raise awareness of mental health issues as well as raise money for mental health charities.

It has become an international phenomenon, with Depressed Cake Shops popping up across the world in the UK, USA, Malaysia, Australia, India – and now Shrewsbury.

The movement has raised more than £78,000 for mental health charities around the world.

The pop-up is part of a series of events aimed at welcoming new visitors to Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Poetry Reading by Gillian Clarke at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Join us at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 29 September 2017 for the book launch of Gillian Clarke’s amazing new collection, ‘Zoology’.

An image of the front cover of Gillian Clarke's new collection, Zoology. The image features a photo of a hare.

Gillian Clarke’s amazing new collection, Zoology

Doors open at 6pm with the poetry reading beginning at 7.30pm.

Zoology will be available for you to purchase following the reading with an opportunity to even have your copy signed.

Refreshments will be available from 6pm and you will also have the chance to look around four of the amazing museum galleries prior to the poetry reading.

If this is enough to whet the appetite, the evening also features readings from local talent, Liz Lefroy.

Tickets for this event cost just £7.50.

If you are a season ticket holder at the Museum, a Friend of Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery or an Art Fund Member, you can purchase a ticket at the reduced rate of £4.50.

Although tickets can be purchased on arrival, spaces are limited so it is recommended that you book your place in advance to avoid possible disappointment.

Gillian Clarke is the longest serving National Poet of Wales holding the role from 2008-2016 and is widely recognised for increasing the profile of the prestigious role.

“There is no gaudiness in her poetry; instead the reader is aware of a generosity of spirit which allows the poems’ subjects their own unbullied reality”. – The Listener

National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, said:

“Gillian has taken the role of National Poet to new heights during her tenure, and I’d like to thank her for her tireless efforts in promoting Welsh poetry and literature at home and on the international stage.”(http://www.literaturewales.org/our-projects/national-poet-wales/)

This reading is the first of a new series that will take place on the last Friday of each month at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with a range of exciting local and national talents already lined up.

For more information about this reading or to book, please visit us at the Visitor Information Centre at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery or call 01743 258885.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan to bring taste of Japan to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

Spectacular touring exhibition, Samurai: Warriors of Japan, is to open at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Monday 16 October.

An image of Samurai armour with a red sun behind.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan comes to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Monday 16 October 2017.

This exciting exhibition brings graphically to life the story of the Samurai and their fall from power as Japan opened up to the West.

Samurai: Warriors of Japan illustrates a range of armour, weapons and costumes using films props from the Tom Cruise blockbuster movie, The Last Samurai (2003), the only Samurai film ever to be made in the West. The Oscar nominated costumes and props have come direct from California and have never before been displayed in the UK.

This exciting exhibition is the only touring exhibition about Samurai available in the UK and includes a real suit of Samurai armour as well as a range of intriguing artefacts.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, said:

“Following on from Antarctica: Life in a hostile land, this new exhibition shows the amazing range of areas Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery covers in its exhibitions.

“Samurai: Warriors of Japan is a touring exhibition that includes exhibits that have never been on display in the UK before so this is a great opportunity to see something truly unique. I’m eagerly anticipating this exhibition and would encourage everyone to pay it a visit.”

Phil Scoggins, Interpretation Officer at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, said:

“Whether you appreciate Japanese history and culture, are curious to explore the world of the Samurai for the first time or are a fan of Tom Cruise movies, this exhibition holds something of interest for all.”

An image of two Samurai suits of armour with swords and graphic panels.

Samurai suits of armour

Barry Chandler, Director of Pop-Up Exhibitions Ltd said:

“We are really looking forward to bringing our samurai collection to Shrewsbury, we think this is the most comprehensive collection of Last Samurai props and costumes in the UK and we are always adding new items to the exhibition.”

Samurai: Warriors of Japan will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until Sunday 21 January, 2018.

Currently on at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are Antarctica: Life in a hostile land which runs until Sunday 17 September 2017.

For more information about what else you can see at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, visit the website.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery to celebrate the battle of Waterloo with new exhibition

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to welcome visitors to their new exhibition, War and Peace, which is now open.

War and Peace tells the story of the Hill family of Hawkstone and Attingham through jugs, mugs and medals that commemorate General Election, the Peninsular War and Lord Hill’s Column between 1796 and 1906.

An image of two jugs and a commemorative tankard emblazoned with an image of William Hill in a display case in the War and Peace exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in celebration of Waterloo Weekend.

Some of the items on display in the War and Peace exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

The most significant features of this exhibition is a collection of election jugs that celebrate the Parliamentary election success of members in the early 19th century, including Sir Rowland Hill, William Hill and Benjamin Disraeli.

The beautiful collection consists of items purchased by Shropshire Museum’s Service with and Art Fund grant, loaned medals and Coalport election jugs donated by Rev. Richard Hayes.

The collections can be seen in the community gallery at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

Rev. Richard Hayes, Chairman of The Friends of Lord Hill’s Column, said:

“Saving items of Shropshire’s history for Shropshire people to enjoy in their county Museum has been a source of great joy.”     

War and Peace is more than an exhibition, however. It is one of a number of events in Shrewsbury, organised in partnership with the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column and Shrewsbury Civic Society that celebrate Lord Hill’s significant involvement and influence in the famous Battle of Waterloo and the famous Lord Hill’s Column.

The Waterloo Weekend celebrations are to take place from Friday 16 June until Sunday 18 June 2017.

Waterloo Weekend – 16 – 18 June 2017

Organised by the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column, the Waterloo Weekend celebrations run from Friday 16 June until Sunday 18 June 2017 to mark the anniversary of the famous battle.

Coade Stone talk – Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 16 June 2017 @ 6pm

Kicking the weekend off is a fascinating talk by Caroline Stanford on Mrs Coade and the making of Lord Hill’s statue.

Caroline is a historian and Head of Engagement with the Landmark Trust as well a published author and an expert on Coade Stone, the material of which Lord Hill’s statue is made.

Tickets are £10 and are available from the Visitor Information Centre at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in the Music Hall.

Walk up Lord Hill’s Column and the Revival of the Lord Hill March

An image of Lord Hill's Column in Shrewsbury. The sky is blue with some cloud and two trees stand before the column. The Column is central to the Waterloo Weekend celebrations

Lord Hill’s Column, Shrewsbury

Lord Hill’s Column will be open to the public from 12pm – 4pm on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June, when all fatherswill go FREE to mark Father’s Day.

For just £5 you can climb the column and take in the breath-taking views of the medieval town of Shrewsbury, and become a life-long member of the Friends of Lord Hill.

 As well as climbing Lord Hill’s Column, you can enjoy the revival of the Lord Hill March by Thomas Tomlin circa 1813, which is to be played for the first time in 200 years by the Shrewsbury Brass Band. Members of the   23rd Regiment of Foot Royal Welch Fusiliers re-enactment society will be present on Saturday.

National Civic Day – Saturday 17 June 2017 @ 3pm

Join Rev. Richard Hayes at 3pm on Saturday, 17June 2017 for the mile long walk from the Column to the Bear Steps and appreciate some of the surviving architecture that lines this important first view of Shrewsbury that travellers would have seen in the 1820’s.

The walk will culminate in an intriguing illustrated talk about our local hero, Lord Hill.

Further Information 

Coade Stone:

Lord Hill’s statue is one of the largest monuments to come out of Mrs Coade’s manufactory in Lambeth, London. In the latter part of the eighteenth and the early part of the nineteenth centuries. Coade stone was used to decorate the exterior of private houses and public buildings and was also widely used to embellish parks and gardens. There are examples of urns, vases, fountains, sundials, gateways and other garden buildings throughout the country. Local examples include a Coade stone lion at Lilleshall Hall and a sundial at Weston Park.

Lord Hill’s Column Opening Dates:

The Column is open on three more dates over the course of 2017:

Sunday 9 July                     12pm – 4pm

Saturday 19 August            11am – 4pm

Sunday 10 September        12pm – 4pm