Story Sacks

The Craft Group were approached by the Museum’s Administrator with an idea of making story sacks for the Museum’s younger visitors. Some examples of their work can be seen on the wall.

What are Story Sacks?

A Story Sack is a cloth bag containing a children’s story book or rhyme sheet along with supporting materials to stimulate reading and language activities.

It aims to make reading more memorable and enjoyable for both parent/carer and child.

Why are we using them in the Museum?

By introducing story sacks, we hope that parents/carers and their children will take time to read together during their visit to the Museum, and encourage their children to make links between the stories or rhymes to the relevant displays/objects around the Museum.

Story Sacks to be made available from 2014:

Story or Rhyme                                                           Link to

Elves and the Shoemaker                                             Clothing and shoe making in Nantwich

Hickory Dickory Dock                                                   Clockmakers of Nantwich

The Grand Old Duke of York                                       The Battle of Nantwich

London’s Burning                                                            The Fire of Nantwich

Should you wish to discuss any of the above, please speak to Vicky Edwards, or email Vicky at

The Museum of the Future – Special Video

A Stormtrooper and Roam soldier
A Stormtrooper and Roman soldier
Busy drawing
Busy drawing


   ‘The Museum of the Future’ was an event that we held in October. As part of the national Big Draw Campaign and the Family Arts Festival, we invited visitors to have a go at drawing what they thought the museum of the future might look like. We had in the region of 100 drawings! Ideas ranged from transport of the future, to pets, food and armour. We were joined on the day by a Roman soldier, a soldier from the English Civil War and, travelling from the future, a stormtrooper.  

After the event, a special video was made that can be viewed on You Tube. Take a look.


The Fire of Nantwich

Queens Aid
The Queen’s Aid House


On December 10, 1583, a Nantwich brewer living in the Waterlode, accidentally started a blaze which burned for 20 days, destroying 150 houses, inns and other buildings.

The fire made around 900 people – half the population – homeless, but fortunately, only two people perished.

Transporting of salt, a principal product of Nantwich, was stopped for a while and the use of the town as a military staging point was halted.

The support of the town by trade and industry was a matter which concerned Queen Elizabeth I and her Privy Council. As a result, she ordered a nationwide collection for funds to rebuild Nantwich, to which she contributed £1,000. This deed is marked in a plaque on a building in Nantwich Square, now called “Queen’s Aid House” (pictured).

A modern translation would read: “God grant our Royal Queen in England long to reign, for she has put her helping hand to build this town again”.

John Maisterson led four local men in administering the funds and poor relief, and overseeing the buying of trees in Buerton, near Crewe, and Wirral. It took about three years to rebuild the town in the established medieval street pattern.

Following the Queen’s generosity, May 1 in both 1584 and 1585 was known as “Queen’s Day”. After that the name fell into disuse.

This item is based on an article by the late Eric Garton, a 20th Century Nantwich historian, in a souvenir brochure for the 400th anniversary commemorations of the Great Fire and Rebuilding of Nantwich, which records the events that took place in 1983-4.Fire

A painting depicting the Great Fire of Nantwich by local artist Herbert Jones can also be viewed at the Museum.

Further emphasising the severity of the threat of fire in a town like Nantwich, the Museum also displays a 17th century fire engine and one of the old fire insurance marks, which today is recognised as the Museum’s logo.

The Craft Group

The Museum’s craft group has been meeting since 2011. They meet every Tuesday between 10 and 12. Its an informal group that takes on a variety of crafts that are of interest to the members.

Meetings are free of charge but regular specialist workshops are planned for which a charge will be made.

Projects that the group is undertaking include: creating Christmas decorations for the Museum, making costumes, items for sale in the Museum shop and a timeline unique to Nantwich which is on display in the exhibition.

Their exhibition is on until the 28th of December.

Pupils Reconstruct Great Fire of Nantwich

A reconstruction of the Great Fire of Nantwich
A reconstruction of the Great Fire of Nantwich

Pupils from Blackfriars School increased their understanding of the Great Fire of Nantwich when they returned to school.

As you can see in the picture, the models that they made with us were used to construct their own Tudor street. The fire shows the consequences of using flammable building materials and building houses close together.

Object Dialogue Box

We have just started an exciting project to expand our offer in order to better meet the needs of people living in the community, particularly those who may be living with dementia. This project will see us create ‘reminiscence boxes’ and also an additional resource: an ‘object dialogue box’.

On Thursday 4th July, Museum staff, volunteers, library staff, health care professionals, residents from nearby care homes as well as people living with dementia and their carers joined together at the Museum to discuss with Anne Sherman, Arts Officer for Health and Older People and Karl Foster, an artist, to discuss what kind of resources and services the Museum might be able to offer to people with dementia. We found that some of the objects from the Museum store could be particularly helpful.

Discussion group Discussion of objects

Karl Foster of Hedsor has a wealth of experience of creating object dialogue boxes and examples of his work can be found at Manchester Art Gallery and the Imperial War Museum. The objects created were inspired by the Museum’s collection and are designed to promote conversation and exploration.

Karl Foster More workshop pics

As an illustration, he showed us an object he had made, and asked us to think about how it made us feel. Some of the exercises were mysterious but very effective.

Following Thursday’s workshop, Karl is now going away to create some objects. They will be unusual, yet will have a connection to the collection and a link to items on permanent display. The Museum will be using the time until these objects are completed in September to think about what exactly we will be able to offer and to take part in more training.

The Museum has found that there is scope to use the Museum’s collection to provide worthwhile experiences for people living with dementia.  This project will demonstrate to similar size museums and organisations how large scale national projects and initiatives can be adapted with more modest resources. Other projects which have been taking place across the country includes The House of Memories, which was developed at Liverpool Museum, and more locally a project that has just started at Bridgend Community Centre.

More Info:

Age UK’s section on Dementia

Object Dialogue Box – website by Karl Foster


Room hire

Millennium Gallery
Millennium Gallery
Joseph Heler Room
Joseph Heler Room

Continuing its efforts to make the charity self sufficient in financial terms Nantwich Museum is offering for hire two meetings rooms at its Pillory Street premises.

The Joseph Heler Room (upstairs) will accommodate up to 40 people in various layouts. The Millennium Gallery is also available in the evenings and on Mondays when the Museum is closed to the public. Items of equipment such as a flip chart and projectors can be made available if required.

A small kitchen can be used for the preparation of beverages whilst a choice of buffets is available supplied by Molly’s Tea Shoppe opposite the Museum.

Hire charges 2017

Joseph Heler Room Millennium Gallery
Daytime (per hour) £10 £20 (Mondays only)
Evening (per hour) £10 for regular users, £15 if key holder required to come out and £20 if staff required £30



Schools, Colleges and Community Groups

Schools, colleges and community groups

Our workshops include:

  • National Curriculum related workshops
  • Hands on learning
  • Handling objects from the collection
  • Role play, living history and/or hot seating
  • Exploring the Museum displays
  • Tour of the town/riverside/canal

Reception and Key Stage 1

Introduction to Museums

A fun introduction to what a museum is and how it can help us learn about different people and places. Investigate objects and materials, handle objects and materials, try on costumes and discover similarities and differences between old and new.

bear1Toys Through Time

Come and meet our Edwardian teddy and his friends! Explore and identify differences between old and new toys. Learn how to handle fragile objects. Enjoy fun activities and play time.

The Great Fire of Nantwich

Become a Tudor fire detective and uncover clues in the Museum and around town. Learn about the importance of written evidence, try on replica Tudor costumes, take part in exciting role play. Explore the events of December 1583 and find out how people used to put out fires.
This topic can be linked to the Great Fire of London.

Key Stage 2


Discover how Nantwich changed during the Victorian era. Find out about the lives of Victorian people, handle real Victorian artefacts, explore the town and find clues about our Victorian past.

Discover Tudor Nantwich

Learn about rich and poor in Tudor Nantwich. Become a Tudor detective and examine objects, written evidence, costume and buildings to find out about life in the Tudor times. shoes

Discover Tudor Medicine

Examine Nantwich-born John Gerard’s famous ‘Herbal’ published in 1597 and uncover Tudor attitudes to illness and medicine. Take part in role play activities, handle artefacts and try on costumes.

Key Stage 2/3

World War II

Discover what life was like for local children and evacuees. Find out how Crewe and Nantwich contributed to the ‘was effort’. Handle real artefacts amd examine real documents from the period. Imagine what it must have been like to be a child during the Second World War.

The Civil War and Battle of Nantwich

Find out about the role Nantwich played in the Civil War during the 1640s. Examine real shot and cannon balls found around Nantwich, handle replica objects and try on costumes to learn about life in the 17th century. Decide whether you would have been a Royalist or a Parliamentarian.

Local Study

Examine maps, photographs, documents and artefacts to find out about Nantwich and the people who have lived and worked here. Discover how things have changed and developed over the years.

Sessions can be adapted to suit different ages and abilities up to KS4.

We have recently delivered sessions on archaeology, shoes and shoe making in Nantwich and the Romans in Nantwich.


Half day session (2-2.5 hours)  £2.50 per child. This includes object handling and for most topics a tour of the town.

Full day session £3.50 per child. This includes a practical activity session in the afternoon:

  •  Butter-making (Victorians and WWII)
  • Making soap balls (Tudors and Civil War)
  • Making model houses (Tudors and Victorians)
  • Making sock puppets (toys)

All of these sessions can be combined with a tour of St. Mary’s Church.

Outreach sessions

We can come out to your school.

£100 for a half-day and £180 for a full day

For more information or to book email:

We are always happy to adapt sessions to specific needs.