Main gallery stages two exhibitions for the price of one (free, that is!)
THE NANTWICH MAN WHO DISCOVERED OXYGEN
AN exhibition to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic
Table in the Millennium Gallery runs until October
Developed with support from the Royal Society of
Chemistry, the exhibition "From Nantwich to Oxygen: Joseph
Priestley's Journey of Discovery" focuses on the life of this famous
scientist, theologian and teacher who lived and worked for a time in
The exhibition forms part of 2019's International Year of the
Periodic Table of Chemical Elements celebrations.
Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen. He was a
dissenting minister in Nantwich, where he established a school in
which he taught
a variety of subjects including science or "Natural Philosophy" as
it was known at the time. His pupils were introduced to
equipment and experiments and historians have suggested that
teachings in Nantwich constituted the first ever science lessons.
his time in Nantwich, he wrote an English Grammar, and he is still
recognised as a major figure in the study of English by today’s
teachers and students of linguistics. He made significant
contributions in the fields of religion and political philosophy
emerging as an important, though controversial, international figure
and man of the Enlightenment.
Soon after Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774,
the Periodic Table, a display of chemical elements arranged
according to their properties, came into being and today includes
The Museum's Craft Group has embroidered a copy of the Table,
which will form a
unique feature of the exhibition. The role and importance of
oxygen, the 23rd element to be discovered, is a key component of the exhibition,
which will feature an element trail, drop in workshops for families,
a Periodic Table-themed coffee morning, and a half-day series of
o Image: Joseph Priestley's School at Nantwich, by Les
MUSEUM'S COLLECTION GOES ON SHOW
"TREASURES from the Museum Collection”, an exhibition in the
Millennium Gallery will run until Saturday, October 26.
It provides an opportunity to view
rarely-seen images and maps of Nantwich and St Mary’s Church drawn
from the Museum collection. These include an architect's drawing of
the church and the first pages of the 1539 and 1572 church Register.
Images of lost buildings from a number of local villages can also be
The exhibition is completed with five 1875
Ordnance Survey maps of the town.
Running alongside “From Nantwich to
Oxygen: Joseph Priestley’s Journey of Discovery”, entry to the
exhibition is free.
Amongst other artefacts, visitors have the opportunity to see a
copy of the first edition of Priestley's book The Rudiments of
English Grammar printed in 1761 and based upon lessons given in
his Nantwich School. Also of particular interest are two sermons
written in Priestley's shorthand and preached by him in 1767.
Many activities available every day include an Element Trail, Word
Searches, Top Trumps, a Selfie
Competition and observing a working photosynthesis experiment.
Entry to the exhibition is free, but a small charge will be made
for some of the special events.
Priestley's Element, family drop-in workshops, will be held
on Saturday, September 28, at 10.30am and 3.30pm. Presented by
members of the Royal Society of Chemistry, it is suitable for all
ages. Free admission.
Investigate chemical elements with real-life chemists
and take home a Joseph Priestley element - oxygen.
lFour short talks, entitled
"Joseph Priestley in his Element" will be held on Saturday, October
5, from 1.30pm to 4pm. They are:
"Joseph Priestley's Time in Nantwich" by Helen Cooke of
the Museum's Research Group.
"Wedgwood, Bentley and Priestley - a unique alliance",
by Gaye Blake-Roberts, Curator of the Wedgwood Museum,
"Joseph Priestley in Birmingham and the Lunar Society",
by Cameron Arthur, Senior
Enabler, Soho House Museum, Birmigham.
"Out of Thin Air: From Oxygen to the Periodic Table of
the Elements", by Fabio Parmeggiani, Research Associate, University
Tickets cost £6 (Museum Members £5) and are available from the
Cheshire Civil War Centre opens at
THE new Cheshire
Civil War Centre gallery has opened at the Museum, just before the Millennium Gallery.
This used to be the Your Space Gallery, which has now
been relocated upstairs at the Museum.
The Civil War Centre was opened by Cllr David Marren as one of the events
towards the end of his term as Mayor of Nantwich. He said: “Although the Civil War
produced a military dictator in the form of Cromwell and ultimately
led to the restoration of the Stuart monarchy, it did create the
foundation for a new kind of monarchy which was quite different from
the “absolute” monarchies which dominated the rest of Europe.
"The exhibition tells how Nantwich played its part, and how its
people were affected by the conflict and the hardships and
sufferings they endured but also explains the strategic importance
of the town."
Cllr Marren added: "In late 1643, Nantwich was the only town in
Cheshire still held by the Parliamentarians. The defeat of Royalist
forces at Nantwich thwarted King Charles's plan to create a field
army in the northwest based on regiments returning from Ireland and
so altered the course of the conflict and therefore in some small
way we can claim credit for a constitutional monarchy and the
supremacy of Parliament."
The display features interpretation panels developed by the museum's
Research Group, which enjoys a wide range of expertise including
and model making, all supplemented by artefacts of the time and
of the Museum Board of Management, Nick Dyer, observed that the new
display helps to bring the Civil War to life and enable the
community to understand its past.
He hoped it would be of interest to
specialists, local residents and visitors.
In development since 2015 under the direction of Dr Keith Lawrence,
(pictured left) was conceived as an educational resource focussed on the
war in this locality.
Speaking at the opening, Keith Lawrence
explained how much of what we think we know about the Civil War is
inaccurate, because it is based on seventeenth century tales which
have become accepted as fact over the years.
He stressed: "The new centre is trying to paint an accurate picture
by peeling apart the conventional stories, which are mostly
He acknowledged all those who had helped create the
the National Civil War Centre, Newark, and Grosvenor
Museum, Chester, as well as Colin Bisset and Brenda Rampling of The
Sealed Knot, whose attendance in period costume added a touch of
colour to the occasion.
Entry to the museum and the new centre is free.
CIVIL WAR COURSE . . .
A HISTORY of the Civil
Wars will feature in a course starting in October.
"The Civil Wars in Cheshire" re-runs
last year's successful course, beginning at 7pm on Wednesday,
October 16, and ending on Wednesday, November 13.
The War arrives in Cheshire - 1642.
Week 2: The lead-up to the Siege of Nantwich - the campaign of
the "Irish Royalist
Army - 1643.
Week 3: The Barthomley Massacre – a review, December 1643.
The Siege and Battle of Nantwich - January 1643/1644.
The Siege of Chester and Brereton's search for
The evening sessions run from 7pm to
9pm. The cost is £50, which includes course materials and
. . . AND NANTWICH HISTORY
"ASPECTS of the History of Nantwich" is a new course
beginning at 2pm on Wednesday, November 6 and running over six
weeks until Wednesday, December 11.
Roads and the development of Nantwich.
Story of Nantwich Brine and Salt.
The Lost Churches and Chapels of Nantwich
The Canal at Nantwich.
Agriculture and Cheshire Cheese.
The afternoon sessions run from 2pm to
3.30pm. The cost for the course is £25 (Museum Members £20) or £5
(Museum Members £4) per talk.
Numbers for each course are limited so early booking
COFFEE mornings are held in the Millennium Gallery on the last Friday of each month
(except bank holiday weekends) in aid of museum funds.
Enjoy a hot drink and a
slice of homemade cake while catching up with friends old and new.
There is no charge, but donations to keep the Museum going are
September Coffee Morning will have a Periodic Table theme.
It will take place on
Friday, September 27, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
FAMILY AREA INSTALLED
THANKS to a donation from Museum
Development North West, a Family Friendly Area has been installed
next to the Millennium Gallery at the Museum.
A smart table is
equipped with four stools, each packed with games that visitors can
play with their family and friends.
Donations of games
would be appreciated.
THE Museum hosts a Dementia Friendship Group which meets at 2pm on
the first and third Monday of every month. It is open to anyone
living with dementia, their carer, family and friends. No charge is
made to attend the meetings. For more details visit
CONTACT THE MUSEUM on
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01270 627104.
www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk. Or visit
https://twitter.com/NantwichMuseum. Or call in to the
museum in Pillory Street (CW5 5BQ) - opposite the
The museum is open from
10.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free. The museum
is a registered charity.
TOUR THE TOWN
GUIDED walks in Nantwich are
led by volunteers from the museum, either as a general
tour for members of the public, or an exclusive one
tailored to meet the requirements of a group.
The Museum offers a town tour and a tour of
Welsh Row each month.
Tours leave the Museum at 11am sharp.
between an hour and a half and two hours and can feature
Tudor Nantwich, Victorian Nantwich, the Battle of
Nantwich, and the Civil War. Or they can have a specific
theme such as industry in the local area to suit a
The tours cost
£4 per person (£3 Museum members) for a minimum of six people. Larger groups
or parties of individuals may be split into smaller
parties so that participants can hear the leader of the
tour and see any relevant object easily. It is advised
that you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
To join an
arranged tour, or to set up one for your group,
telephone 01270 627104, e-mail
email@example.com, or call in at the
museum. For more information visit the museum
or call in at the museum.
Thursday, October 10: A Welsh Row Tour.
Saturday, October 12: A Town Tour
Saturday, October 19: A Riverside Tour
WHAT THEY WILL BE READING
THE Museum's Book Group's, now in its 22nd year, provides an opportunity for
members to read books chosen by the group, and discuss their merits
and the impact they have had on them as readers. Meetings are held
at the Museum at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.
September 17: "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.
October 22: "Wolf Moon" by Julio Llamazares
December 3: "On Chapel Sands" by Laura Cumming
January 21: "The Glass Room" by Simon Mawer.
February 11: "Spring" by Ali Smith.
April 21: "Resistance" by Owen Sheers.
May 12: "Gentleman Jack" by Angela Stei Dele.
June 16: "Becoming" by Michelle Obama.
An annual subscription of £15 is payable as a donation in aid of
For further information contact the Museum (see below, left)
"LOST HOUSES" BOOK TO BE REPRINTED
"Lost Houses in Nantwich", a book by local authors Andrew Lamberton
and the late Robin Gray is set to return to the Museum in the
published in 2005, the book has become a local classic, a "must
have" for all those interested in local history and the houses that
have been lost in the town and its immediate locality.
Museum Development Officer, Elliot Goodger commented: "We regularly
receive enquiries for the book in the museum shop and are eager to
feature it again among our portfolio of local books".
In their introduction to the first edition, the authors observed how
the rapid development of the town resulted in the loss of many
houses and their aim was to document the buildings while still in
living memory. They defined the houses as: "those that are no
longer with us or have changed so dramatically in appearance as to
be virtually unrecognisable from the original".
book, which will cost £15, features maps, is fully illustrated and
also includes a number of public buildings. The original text has
been revised and more images added from the Museum collection, some
of which are in colour.
TOO MANY INN IMAGES FOR BOOK
THE Crown Hotel is the subject of a
new booklet launched by the Museum and available in the Museum Shop.
The new booklet, "The
Crown - a brief history of this historic inn",
joins a range of booklets which look at the town's history.
is written by Andrew Lamberton and Bill Pearson who produced the "Nantwich
Pubs" book (164 pages for
But they found during their research that they had far more material
about The Crown than would fit into a book covering all the town's
Crown, one of three Grade I listed buildings in Nantwich, is one of
the town's oldest pubs. The booklet covers the history of the pub
before the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1584 and the rebuilding
There is also a long list of famous guests at the hotel including
Prince Charles who later became Charles II. And three famous Formula
One racing driver stayed at the hotel while racing at Oulton Park.
Photographs and other material in the booklet were given to the
Museum by the inn's owner, Bill Schofield, whose father, William
Schofield, bought The Crown in 1962 when it was in a perilous state.
booklet is available in the Museum's shop as well as from The Crown
Hotel in High Street. It costs
with all profits going to support Nantwich Museum.
DUTTON PRIZE AWARDED
Parkin, well known for her work with the local RedShift Radio, is
the recipient of this year's Walter and Ada Dutton Prize.
Commenting on the award,
Chairman of the Museum Board, Nick Dyer
recounted "the many aspects of town
life to which Liz has contributed." These included the Nantwich
Show, the Holly Holy Day event, organisation of the Big Day Out, VE
Day Celebrations, and the Doggy Day Out. "The list goes on," he
said. Of particular note was the work done by Liz to promote
charities and businesses through broadcast, networking and social
The Dutton Prize, which includes a
medal, was endowed by medal-maker Ron Dutton in memory of his
parents Alderman and Mrs Dutton.
Each year since 1990 the Museum Board has nominated for the prize
unsung heroes regarded as making an extraordinary contribution to
the life of the town.
PAGE UPDATED SEPTEMBER 18
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