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.


“ENGLISH Civil War Comes to Nantwich” is running until Saturday, February 3. It is an exhibition outlining the war which arrived in the town in 1643 when it became a Parliamentarian garrison.

    By Christmas, the town was under siege from the Royalist army and was only relieved following the Battle of Nantwich on January 25, 1644. The townspeople celebrated the lifting of the siege, calling the day Holly Holy Day, when they would wear a sprig of holly in their hats.

   There will be Battle of Nantwich talks at the museum. The final one is on Thursday, January 25: "1644. The Battle of Nantwich".

   Tickets are £6 (museum members £5). The talk starts at 7pm and can be booked online or in the museum.

   A model illustrating the battle will be on display in the museum from Tuesday, January 23.

o On Holly Holy Day, January 27, volunteers will be on hand to talk about the model. Also on that day, Civil War Tours begin at the museum at 10.15am and 12 noon. Tickets are £6 (museum members £5 and children free). The tours last approximately one-and-a-half hours and can be booked online or in the museum.

   Between 12 noon and 1pm, music will be performed in the museum by seventeenth-century musicians Forlorn Hope. Children's activities will be available between 10am and 3pm.

   A visit to the museum shop will provide an opportunity to purchase one of the informative booklets that relate to the Civil War.

See also this page for more about the battle



“WITHIN the Loop”, an exhibition by Cheshire-based Threadmill Textile Artists, is running at the Museum until Saturday, February 17.

  The needlework, most of which is for sale, takes its inspiration from walks around Nantwich reflecting the ancient and modern.

   The group will hold a "Meet the Artist" day on Saturday, January 20 between 11am and 3pm.

   Threadmill was formed in 1995 by a group of like-minded artists. The members have a wide range of backgrounds and most have recognised vocational qualifications or degrees in Art and Design subjects. Several also teach in schools and colleges.

  They share an enthusiasm for creativity, using textiles as the principal means of artistic expression, and are committed to the promotion of textiles as both a decorative and expressive art form, with the aim of increasing awareness and education through exhibitions and workshops.

   By working in a group, they aim to provide support to the individual, allowing each artist to develop, by giving a focus and setting targets. They meet regularly to exchange ideas and are always keen to explore new avenues.

o Picture by Ruth Smith.



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 (winter hours). 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.



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 that 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:




THE Museum are looking for people to join the Education Team as well as a range of other opportunities. Contact the Museum to find out more.



NANTWICH Camera Club will be staging a photographic exhibition at the Museum from February 21 to April 27.


AN exhibition, "Wildlife Photography" by the RSPCA, will be in the Museum from February 6 to March 16.



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 details left. 


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.







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