Category Museums

Pottery museums – new and old

The Clean Air Act of 1956 banned the use of coal firing and resulted in the destruction of bottle ovens in many industrial potteries and the conversion of kilns to gas firing. It meant the end to many pottery sites, especially in Stoke on Trent. Staffordshire is a coal rich region; it also has plenty […]

The Old Operating Theatre Museum – with herbs

To be honest, there are some museums I might never want to visit. Mostly they represent the nastier side of human nature, like torture. So it is with some trepidation that I touch upon the Old Operating Theatre Museum in London. Exhibits of early surgical instruments bear a frightening resemblance to torture instruments.But let’s not […]

Natural History Museum (where Dippy and Hope live)

Take a walk down Exhibition Road in London, and you won’t find just one famous museum but three: The Victoria and Albert is home of the arts; the Science Museum, the industrial sciences and technology; and the Natural History Museum with its iconic frontage and dinosaur skeletons, is where nature, botany, entomology, zoology and mineralogy […]

Maritime museums – ships, war, and trade

Greenwich is famous for many good reasons. It is the home of the meridian line for Greenwich Mean Time, the location of the Astronomer Royal’s observatory, where John Harrison’s sea watches (for calculating longitude) are displayed; there is a tea clipper, by the River Thames, in dry dock, the Cutty Sark, a museum ship nearly […]

Lady Lever Art Gallery – a philantrophist’s museum

Philanthropy and museums work well together. When needing to avoid paying taxes, what better way to protect assets than to invest money for the public good. The scope for philanthropy is broad and historically diverse. In 1739 Thomas Coran established the Foundling Hospital in London for orphans, while later in the century, William Wilberforce lobbied […]

Kirkleatham Museum – exploring local heritage

Up and down the British Isles there are numerous local heritage museums; in towns, even villages, whether managed by the local council or privately funded, they represent the treasures and artefacts that belong to communities and not the nation.Kirkleatham museum in Redcar, Yorkshire, is one such museum. Housed in the 18th century Old Hall, which […]

Jamaican Inn – home to smugglers and an author

Once upon a time, a young author went riding on Bodmin Moors in Devon. She and her friend became lost in the fog, and loosened their horses in the hope they might lead them to shelter. The horses took them to an inn, and there they remained to recover, and were entertained by tales of […]

Ironbridge – complex and comprehensive

There’s nothing more exciting than a day out with the family, and what if that day out was so busy, you had to extend it to another day? The complex of museums at Ironbridge gorge offers this necessity. You can’t possibly visit all the museums in one day, and thankfully, they do offer an annual […]

Highland Folk – the open-air experience

Museums aren’t confined to just objects or artworks; there are places, buildings and structures, and the only way to view these things is from the outside. The tradition of open-air museum is familiar to Scandinavians with their Nordic and Skansen museums centred around a collection of historic structures. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History in […]

Galleries – from long to national

Imagine a large palatial house, built to accommodate one family and a couple hundred servants. While the servants toil, the wealthy occupants have plenty of time on their hands. They would hunt, dine, make music, invite guests and entertain. On a rainy day, the ladies would walk up and down the long gallery, exercising and […]

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