What's On at Nantwich Museum

The Cheshire Civil War Centre gallery is based in Museum

THE Cheshire Civil War Centre gallery, set in the Museum, tells how Nantwich played its part, and how its people were affected by the conflict and the hardships and sufferings they endured. It  also explains the strategic importance of the town.

   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.

  The display features interpretation panels developed by the Museum's Research Group, which enjoys a wide range of expertise including


 art, design and model making, all supplemented by artefacts of the time and informative replicas.

  At the opening ceremony of the centre, the former chairman of the Museum Board, Nick Dyer, observed how the 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, the centre was conceived

as an educational resource focussed on the war in this locality.

   Dr Lawrence explained how much of what we  think we know about the Civil War is innacurate


 because it is based on seventeenth century tales, which have become accepted as fact over the years.  He stressed: "The centre is trying to paint an accurate picture by peeling apart the

conventional stories, which are mostly propaganda".

   He acknowledged all those who had helped create the centre, including 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.

   The centre was opened by the then Nantwich Town  Mayor, Councillor David Marren.


THE Museum has a season of sculpture exhibitions running now.

   "In Cemento Veritas", an exhibition of sculptures based on concrete, plaster and resin by acclaimed Italian artist Mario Loprete, has opened in the Millennium Gallery and is running until Saturday, December 2.

   The exhibition retraces Mario’s artistic production of the last five years, featuring figures presented in concrete and a variety of familiar two- and four-wheeled road vehicles, including the ubiquitous VW Camper Van, described as “Old lady, oil and cement on cardboard.”

   Reinforced concrete was created by the Romans 2,000 years ago and is reflected in amphitheatres, bridges and roads. Today, concrete is a synonym of modernity and is ubiquitous. For Mario, the artistic question was obvious. “If man brought art on the streets in order to make it accessible to everyone, why not bring the urban to galleries and museums?”

   Mario is a graduate at Academia of Belle Arti, Catanzaro, Italy, and has exhibited his work internationally. All the artwork, including concrete lollipops, is available to purchase.

   In addition, a raffle is offering the opportunity to win a piece from those remaining unsold, with individual tickets priced at £5. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the Museum shop until the closure of the exhibition. The draw will take place on Wednesday, December 6.


o RUNNING elsewhere in the museum is "Satirical Ceramics" in the 21st Century, by local artist Geoff Elliott featuring familiar characters from the political and sociological scenario. Geoff says of his work “I make pieces that move one to attention. My target is the seat of power. My audience is the people. I want the political pot to be kept stirred. Lest we forget”.

   Geoff holds a University of Central Lancashire MA degree in Ceramics and his work was recently exhibited at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester.

   Entry to the Museum and admission to all activities is free for children (a small    charge for adults applies to some events). Donations towards the running of the Museum are always welcome.

   For further information contact: Nantwich Museum on enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104; https://www.facebook.com/nantwichmuseum https://twitter.com/NantwichMuseum



THE opening times of the Museum during the winter months are 10am to 4pm. "When it is dark and cold, there is a significant decrease in the number of visitors coming in during the latter part of the afternoon," says the Museum Manager, Kate Dobson. See below. 


A COFFEE MORNING is held on the last Friday of each month from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The event includes home-made cakes. Entrance free.


CONTACT THE MUSEUM on enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104; website: www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk.

   Or visit https://www.facebook.com/nantwich.museumoffical/ or https://twitter.com/NantwichMuseum. Or call in to the museum in Pillory Street (CW5 5BQ) - opposite the pillory.

  The museum is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Admission to the Museum is free.

  The museum is an independent charity and costs around £1,200 a week to run.   About half of the funding comes from grants awarded by Cheshire East Borough Council and Nantwich Town Council. The remainder is raised through other grants, donations and fund-raising activities. Donations towards the running of the Museum are always welcome.

   Nantwich Museum Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity, number 509386.



"HERBERT St John Jones - a local artist", is running in the Community Gallery at the Museum until Saturday, January 6.

  The exhibition celebrates the work of the artist who lived in Nantwich until his death in 1939.

   Picture: The Old Guild Hall and Grammar School.

   Herbert St John Jones was a familiar sight in Nantwich, always wearing his straw boater and a very stiff collar. Often short of cash he would sometimes settle accounts by painting a picture in lieu of settlement.

   He was renowned as an animal painter with a reputation for excellence. He worked for a number of famous and distinguished clients with King Edward VII owning one of his animal paintings. Other work is included in local town scenes.

   "Angels of Mons" was perhaps Herbert’s most unusual painting. It depicted the legend of the spiritual phenomenon involving a troop of flying, white-robed angels turning the German cavalry away from the British infantry during the First World War.



THE Museum has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase four items of local treasure which have a combined total value of £850.

   The items originate from Batherton and Marbury, and include a late medieval dress fastener, a medieval mount, a silver gilded double-sided crucifix and a posy ring (right, compared with 20p coins). 

   The posy ring, valued at £500, dates to the post Medieval period, and is composed of a circular band with a D-shaped section. The ring bears an inscription in italic, reading "Far off yet not forgot". Posy rings were given by men and women as an expression of love, either as a wedding ring or a means of showing regard and friendship.

   Museum Manager Kate Dobson said "We hope through donations and sponsorship the Museum can find the money to ensure that these historic items can be kept in Nantwich for the public to enjoy". 

   The local acquisitions would further enhance the Museum's "Treasures of Nantwich" exhibition, which has been developed over the years to include Roman, Saxon and Tudor artefacts.

   Donations, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made through the Museum's website:




EVENTS have been lined up for the Museum this Autumn and Winter, including walks and talks and workshops which take place in the Millennium Gallery.

   Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29, from 11am to 12.30pm, "Welsh Row Guided Walk" will explore the historic street that was once the main route into town. Meet at the Museum at 11am. Tickets are £6, Museum members £5, children free. Adults need a place booked on the walk. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

   A further town tour will take place on Wednesday, December 13, from 11am to 12.30pm. Learn about the buildings, people and events that have shaped the history of the town. All adults need to have a booked place. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets £6, Museum members £5, children free.



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