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.



Clock making in Nantwich

by Andrew Lamberton

ALTHOUGH Nantwich is noted for its salt, leather and clothing trades, it is not generally appreciated that the town was an important centre for clock making.

The museum has catalogued as many Nantwich-made clocks as possible. Photographs have been taken of each clock and a description has been included.  The catalogue consists of a number of easy-to-use folders, with clocks listed under makers in chronological order.

The longcase clocks start with Thomas Talbot who was producing high quality eight-day movements around 1700, progressing through the well-known Gabriel Smith soon after, to John Naylor with his famous astronomical clock. Gabriel Smith started clock making at Barthomley, near Nantwich.

Other makers of note include James Green, Thomas Birchall and John Stanyer – who appears to have been the most prolific of all, judging by the number of clocks located (22).

All these makers produced brass dial clocks with fine engraving. Around 1773, painted dials started to appear and eventually replace the brass dial and there are several examples of brass and painted dial clocks by the same maker.

Later makers of some note include Joseph Walker, William Massey, William Palin and James Topham (one of whose clocks is pictured).

It is very pleasing to record that the industry is still alive in and around Nantwich. About 1975, John Craven made five clocks including one regulator, and more recently Peter Matravers produced three, and Geoff Gray 14. At present there are three local makers and their clocks are recorded and catalogued in the modern section.

Altogether more than 140 clocks have been located and catalogued.

Nantwich clocks were covered in some detail in a catalogue for a previous exhibition at the museum, “Nantwich Clockmakers” by A.A.Treherne, published in 1985. More than 100 names were listed together with biographies where appropriate. Unfortunately, copies of the booklet are no longer on sale.

The Nantwich Clockmakers and their clocks

  HERE, in chronological order, are the number of clocks known to exist.

Thomas Talbot 6, Gabriel Smith 8, John Naylor 3, Samuel Young 5, Cartwright 1, James Green 13, John Green 1, Thomas Moyle 1, Thomas Birchall 11, Abraham Butler 1, John Kitchen 1, John Lloyd 1, John Stanyer  22, Kitchen and Lloyd 5, Joseph Walker 8, Enoch Hawksey 3, John Salmon 4, Joseph Symcock 2, Thomas Clowes 2, Thomas Cross 3, William Massey 8, George Walker 1, James Topham 6, William Palin 5, Joseph Tomkinson 3, John Palin 3, A.Palin, 1, J.Wilkinson 1.

   Modern makers: John Craven 5, P.Matravers 3, Ron Maddocks 2, Jack Boffey 2, Ron Porteous 2, Geoff Gray 5.

 The Millennium Clock

ALTHOUGH not one of the museum exhibits, the Millennium Clock will be of interest to clock enthusiasts. It stands in the Cocoa Yard next to the museum.

It was made to celebrate the Millennium in Nantwich by clockmaker Paul Beckett of Caernarfon, and is now on show in a glass case in front of a 19th century burner – all that remains of a coach manufactory.

Local schoolchildren took part in design workshops in the run-up to the production of the clock.

Its up-to-the-minute design includes three dials – one each for the hours, minutes and seconds. Artwork on the case helps in telling the time.

Other engraved symbols on the case mark various aspects of the town – a design to be found on Tudor buildings in Nantwich, the phoenix rising from the flames of the Fire of Nantwich (1583), the Civil War, a cocoa plant representing the Cocoa Yard, dairy farming, the general music of the area, salt deposits, cheese making, clothing and shoes.

Paul Beckett’s website said: “The Nantwich Millennium clock is a mechanical clock which is electronically rewound. It is housed in a plannar glass case. It is constructed from stainless steel, titanium, lead crystal and ceramic. It is a free-standing clock which is intended to invite the viewer to explore how time is created mechanically.”

Volunteering Opportunities

Nantwich Museum relies on a team of about 50 volunteers to ensure its smooth running. There are many different aspects that people can get involved in:

Front of house – Welcoming visitors to the Museum and dealing with general enquiries.

Education – Assisting with education sessions, workshops and tours with the general public.

Exhibition installation – Helping to put up exhibitions in our temporary exhibition spaces.

Collections – This group currently meets on a Monday morning between 10.30am – 12.30pm. They record, examine and care for objects in the Museum’s collection.

Research Group – This group currently meets on a Friday morning at 10.00am. They undertake research for exhibitions, respond to enquiries and help to develop exhibitions.

Shop – Select and order stock and help to arrange our shop displays.

Fundraising and events – Help to organise and assist as fundraising events which take place throughout the year.

Maintenance – Assist with general maintenance and checks on the building.

If you think you might want to get involved call in to collect an application form or to speak to someone about the opportunities.

You can download an application form here. (This is a PDF file. You may need to download and use a free program such as Adobe Reader to read it).

Download Adobe PDF Reader software

Nantwich Artists


Herbert St John Jones

DURING the first quarter of the 20th century, Herbert St John Jones, an artist in both water colour and oils, was an animal painter with a reputation for excellence throughout the United Kingdom.

He was born in 1872 in Shrewsbury and at the age of four or five moved to Nantwich where he lived until he died in May 1939. The Nantwich Museum Trust acquired a portfolio of his water colours. His output was prolific and there are very many of his paintings in private hands, locally.

In 1956, a local newspaper recorded: “As a boy, Herbert St John Jones would sketch on any scrap of paper he could find and spend hours watching the ‘hunting gentlemen’ who visited the Brine Baths Hotel. Nantwich was then the centre of the hunting world and the boy Jones learned to love horses and hounds. He studied them in every detail, their finer points and temperament. He grew to know them all by name and many of his later portraits were drawn from memory at his Hospital Street Studio”.

He lived with his sister at 13 Shrewbridge Road (now demolished and replaced by a house built in 1939) and had a studio – number 1b – on the second floor above the shops built in 1897 at the end of Hospital Street adjoining the Square approached by an entry next to the yard of G. F. & A. Brown and Sons, wine and spirit merchants (right).

He kept a book into which he copied appreciative letters from his distinguished and aristocratic clients each one embellished with the writer’s coat of arms fully achieved.

“The list of names is long,” said the newspaper, “and includes Lord Crighton, Lord Gough, Lady Holland of Poole Hall, Baron William von Schroeder of the Rookery, Worleston, and the Duke and Duchess of Westminster.”

“King Edward VII (see footnote) commissioned a painting of his Hereford bull, Earlsfield. The Duchess of Teck from Windsor Castle expressed her approval of the painting of her pony, Southern Cross. A portrait of the world champion jumper, All Fours, painted at the 1909 International Horse Show at Olympia, is also recorded.”

Herbert St John Jones was a well known character about the town. He wore a straw boater winter and summer and a very high stiff collar about his neck. Like many artists he was frequently short of cash and locals were often happy to take a painting in settlement. It was believed that Edward Brown arranged that he should be allowed to run his bill up to £40 when it would be discharged by a picture. These were hung in G. F. & A. Brown’s premises, and on its cessation the purchasing brewery transferred the paintings to its new public house in Runcorn.

Perhaps his most outstanding painting is an oil of the thoroughbred called Satan which belonged to Billy Brown who had stables in Marsh Lane. Satan was a most vicious animal and in one outburst killed its groom. In the horse’s expression and posture, the portrait perfectly expresses the acme of equine savagery. Although hunters were the most frequent subject he also painted cart horses, horses in harness, hounds, meets of hounds, cattle and dogs.

His strangest painting, which attracted considerable notice, was entitled “Angels of Mons” and depicted the legend of this spiritual phenomenon in which a troop of flying, white-robed angels turned back the charging German cavalry away from the British infantry during the 1914-18 war.

He also left paintings of old Nantwich created presumably from photographs and later in life he painted many attractive signs for Nantwich inns.

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