New School Workshops

Three completely new workshops are being made available for schools this academic year.

Working in partnership with The Young Actors, we have created these inspiring, hands-on workshops that will allow children to access history through drama. All workshops use research and artefacts as their basis but are intended to encourage critical thinking and reflection.

The sessions are:

1. World War One

This session developed as we investigated the impact that war on the locality for an exhibition.

Opening with a focus on the Belgian refugees who came to Nantwich, we will be encouraging participants to think about what this experience would have been like and some of the emotions that refugees may have felt. This will be then juxtaposed as we turn to look at what life would have been like for locals in particular the reactions to recruitment. We move on to examine some of the consequences of war which provides the opportunity to delve into the role of convalescent homes, of which there were several in the local area. The session will conclude with us thinking about the aftermath of war and remembrance.

Various activities will be included throughout including writing poetry, staging a recruitment drive and adding to an installation.

This session is aimed at children in years 5 and 6. It allows pupils to consider factual information whilst drawing on emotional and moral issues.

Download Adobe PDF file

 

 

 

WW1 Workshop Information

2. John Gerard

Meet John Gerard, a Tudor herbalist who was born in the Nantwich area and find out more about Tudor attitudes to health. Using living history, children will be able to ask John Gerard about what it was like to live during this time. What fears did the Tudors have, was life the same for everyone? Explore the town, handle objects and then make your own medicine under the watchful eye of Mr. Gerard.

John Gerard Workshop Information

3. Timothy Fivesteps

This workshop sees a departure from our traditional workshops as we enter the mystical world of Timothy Fivesteps and the Surreal Objects. Using completely unique objects inspired by the Museum’s collection, the purpose of this session is to fire up childrens’ imaginations, explore language, speech and writing skills, develop stories and use drama in order to help Timothy Fivesteps to deliver these very strange objects back to their owners.

Timothy Fivestep and Surreal Object Information

Inspirations Day

We were pleased to welcome a group of children from local school, Wyche Primary as part of their Aspirations Day. The children who came had chosen to visit the Museum and gained an insight into what it is like to work in such an organisation. The children were able to open up the Museum for us, take environmental readings, design a quiz and work the shop’s till. The children also assessed an item from the Museum’s collection and completed an object entry form, including as much detail as they could about it.

From the Museum’s point of view it was great to see such enthusiasm and there was a real interest in the research side of things, indicating a real interest in local history.

A link to an article about the initiative can be found on the Crewe Guardian website.

Nantwich Treasures Open Day

Come along to this exciting open day on Saturday 16th August where you can influence what our new ‘Treasures of Nantwich’ display will look like.

  • Bring in your own treasures of Nantwich
  • Handle objects
  • Find out more about how these precious objects were found
  • See our treasures up close

This is a chance to have a go at identifying objects, meet the detectorist who found our latest acquisition, a Tudor dress hook, and help us decide what our new display should look like and how these important finds should be interpreted.

This open day forms part of a Treasures of Nantwich project which is being funded by the Art Fund as part of their Treasure Plus programme.

Download Adobe PDF file

 

Nantwich Treasures Open Day

 

hurlseton brooch
Find out more about finds like the Hurleston Brooch
Meet the finder of this Tudor dress hook
Meet the finder of this Tudor dress hook

Salt Sunday

Nantwich Museum featured a part of its Celebration of Salt exhibition at the recent Salt Sunday event held at Winnington. The exhibition focussed on the literary celebrations of the local salt industry. In particular the Blessing the Brine hymn which formed a part of the celebrations of the gift of the brine which took place for a time on Ascension Day. A painting by Nicholas Ferenczy entitled Blessing the Brine was commissioned for the original exhibition and depicts the event. Copies in post card form can be obtained from the museum shop.

Salt Sunday was initiated in 2007 by the Bishop of Birkenhead as a celebration of the natural resource and a means of strengthening  the links between salt-related industries and the community.

Visitors inspect the Nantwich Museum stand at Salt Sunday  11 May 2014

Battle of Nantwich

There is a display in Nantwich Museum’s main gallery about the Battle of Nantwich includes the letter from Sir Thomas Fairfax, the leader of more than 2,500 Parliamentarian soldiers, to General Monroe after the battle telling what he had done with some prisoners.

Parliamentarians in the English Civil War and endured a six-week siege by the Royalist forces.

After the siege was lifted, in January 1644, the local people marked the event in subsequent years by wearing sprigs of holly in their hats or on their clothing.

Holly Holy Day

HHD-musketry

Musketry demonstration led by members of the Sealed Knot

The annual commemoration on January 25 became known as Holly Holy Day. The practice faded out after a time, but was revived in 1972 following the introduction of a wreath-laying ceremony to mark those who died in the battle and the siege. It followed an initiative by the late Percy Corry, a local historian. Now, on the Saturday nearest to January 25th, wreaths are laid in memory of those who died and the battle is re-enacted by the Sealed Knot Society on Mill Island. The first re-enactment of the battle took place in 1973 on Barony Park but is now held on Mill Island in the centre of Nantwich.

The commemoration is organised by the town’s Holly Holy Day Society. The committee members include the Museum’s Community Development Manager, Kate Dobson.

Every year the Museum takes part in the town’s commemoration of the battle and was pleased to welcome members of the Sealed Knot and John Dixon from Black Wolf Wargaming to the Museum at this year’s event.

The Worleston Ring

ring2THE Museum has a number of rings on display, including the Worleston Ring.   An ancient gold “snake” ring, it was unearthed at Worleston, near Nantwich, by a metal detectorist. It was declared Treasure Trove and later acquired by Nantwich Museum thanks to a bequest and additional donation.
The spiral ring, thought to be unique in Britain, dates from the late Roman or early medieval period.    The ring was bought using a bequest from one of the museum’s former volunteer workers, Betty Goodwin, which was substantially increased by her family to cover the full asking price.   An expert at the British museum said there appeared to be no close British parallel to the ring although it is similar to a Roman ring found at Hadrian’s Wall.    While spiral gold rings are not uncommon in Scandinavia, and are dated from around AD 200 – 600, they are generally plain. The Worleston Ring is decorated with triangular punch marks and the British Museum says it can’t therefore be described as typically Scandinavian.
What is not in question is that had Nantwich Museum not managed to buy the ring the British Museum would have attempted to do so, such is the interest in it.
The former curator of Nantwich Museum, Susan Pritchard, said at the time of its acquisition: “We are thrilled to have been able to acquire this fine piece of ancient jewellery. It’s a very delicate ring which could only have been worn by someone with very slender fingers and it’s fascinating to wonder who that person might have been.”

The ring was discovered by treasure hunter David Beckett who lives near Crewe.

The Goodwin family were guests at a reception to mark the opening of the Nantwich Treasures exhibition – where the ring was a central attraction – in February 2005.

The Salt Ship

shipdisplay-300x204A SECTION of a 700-year-old oak tree discovered under an area of Nantwich soil excited archaeologists, museum officials, and others – with good reason – back in 2004. For this was an ancient salt ship – or vessel in which brine (salt suspended in water) was stored as part of the salt-producing process. (It was not a sailing craft).

Clearly, as a wooden utensil it could not be used to boil the brine! That was done in pans.

The ship was found under land on which houses once stood. After the initial discovery it was reburied while a Lottery grant was applied for. Thanks to Cheshire County Council that bid was successful and the Heritage Lottery Fund provided £100,000 for the painstaking project to save the salt ship for posterity.
The medieval salt ship was taken from the ground in January 2004 at the start of a two-year preservation project.

Six barrels which had the same purpose were also unearthed, but it was not possible to save the fragile structures. ONE section of the salt ship (sadly, just a third) found in Nantwich is on display in our second gallery.

Call in to see it – and to SMELL the Nantwich mud in which the ship lay buried!

Mirrors help you to see the salt ship from all angles, and there are photographs and other displays which tell the story of the rescue and preservation mission. There is also a display of artefacts found with the salt ship.

In addition, on sale in the Museum Shop is a video called “Ship Ahoy – The Raising of the Nantwich Salt Ship” which tells the story of our top exhibit