Blog

Favourite Things of the Abbey Museum

Favourite Things of the Abbey Museum

Most of us know that the Abbey Museum has some special items in their collection – but what do you really know about it and do you have a favourite thing? Have you ever walked through the museum and a special object has caught your eye?  What was it?  Where...

Abbey Museum is a GAMAA Award Winner

Abbey Museum is a GAMAA Award Winner

The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology was last night announced as a winner and a finalist at the GAMAA awards.  The awards – Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards – are presented annually to honour the achievements of individuals and organisations in striving...

Medieval Artefacts Donated to the Abbey Museum

Medieval Artefacts Donated to the Abbey Museum

There was great excitement in the Abbey Museum office last week; in fact, it felt a little like Christmas, as the Director unwrapped a group of medieval artefacts that had been donated to the Museum. We always endeavour to grow the medieval collections because of the...

Teaching the Value of Archaeology

Teaching the Value of Archaeology

To many people archaeology embodies adventure, excitement, very old things and, of course, thanks to the Indiana Jones franchise, unfortunately Nazis. The image of Indiana Jones, Hollywood’s archetypal archaeologist, has been burned into the minds of the “baby boomer”...

Medieval Pilgrim Badge Donation Excitement

Medieval Pilgrim Badge Donation Excitement

Donated Pilgrim Badge of St Thomas Becket The Abbey Museum recently received a generous donation of a 14th century Pilgrim Badge of St Thomas Becket. A pilgrim badge, like the suit of armour also acquired this year, has been on the Museum’s wish list for a number of...

Collection Donations: Gifts of Ancient Treasures

Collection Donations: Gifts of Ancient Treasures

With the advent of on-line sale websites such as Ebay and Gum Tree, and difficult financial times in general, collection donations of antiquities to the Abbey Museum had all but dried up. However, excitingly, 2016 seemed to buck the trend and over the last few months...

Abbey Museum Celebrates 30 Years

Abbey Museum Celebrates 30 Years

Thirty years ago on a warm Saturday afternoon in late June a group of friends, members of the Abbey Community, builders and museum staff gathered with over 100 invited guests  to hear the Abbey Museum declared officially open. It was a moving moment: the...

The “Donor King” has a Name

The “Donor King” has a Name

Visitors to the Abbey Museum may have noticed a stained glass window that was once above the main door has been removed. I can assure you that this is not permanent but just part of the ongoing conservation program of our stained glass windows. This panel depicts a...

Hidden Treasure Trove

Hidden Treasure Trove

In the back of a dark cupboard in the Abbey Museum storage area sit a few items of hidden treasure with signs saying DO NOT LIST. These items have been there for a very long time. Why you may ask?  Well it is because their provenance is unknown or attempts in the...

Dutch Delft – Almost as Famous as Clogs!

Dutch Delft – Almost as Famous as Clogs!

Situated in the Museum’s ‘Apothecary Shoppe’ display, can be found several items of iconic blue and white Dutch Delft pottery. Careful research has uncovered some interesting history to share from the examples that we have in our collection. Delft on display Research...

Before Tupperware there was Lacquerware

Before Tupperware there was Lacquerware

One of the wonderful things about working with the Abbey Museum’s collection is exploring the mysteries of the diverse range of artefacts. My latest research involved the small but fine collection of lacquerware acquired by John Ward when he was living in...

The Face of Death – the execution of a King

The Face of Death – the execution of a King

Until recently, death by execution seemed to be a horror from the past. I had never stopped to consider what someone might be thinking or feeling knowing that their life was about to end with a swing of an axe or a sword. But the graphic images of execution from Iraq...

The Coati Cutie: Moche zoomorphic pottery

The Coati Cutie: Moche zoomorphic pottery

Moche Culture of the northern Peruvian coastline flourished between 100 and 800 AD. With no record of a written language, it is known that they expressed their domestic life, religion and history through their five phases of pottery. The Abbey Museum is very fortunate...

Penny-Farthing Bicycle a gift to the Abbey Museum

Penny-Farthing Bicycle a gift to the Abbey Museum

Through the generosity of Mr Bradley Barlow and his wife, Jeni, the Abbey Museum is extremely fortunate to have been donated a penny-farthing bicycle dating to about the late 1870s. The gift also included a rare bicycle bell, a Lucas bicycle lock and a candle lamp....

The Mystery of the Small Metal Spatula

The Mystery of the Small Metal Spatula

When the Abbey Museum’s Collection was in its infancy, its founder, John S M Ward, bought a number of objects of interest from S. G. Fenton. He was a known reputable dealer in archaeological and ethnographic artefacts and owned an auction house in London. Items were...

Lost and Found – The Tale of the Tiny Satsuma Vase

Lost and Found – The Tale of the Tiny Satsuma Vase

Many of you will know the Abbey Museum collection has quite an interesting history. A story that starts in England in the late 1800’s when a young English boy started to collect Roman coins and pottery taking them to the esteemed British Museum for identification....

Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

The notorious Guy Fawkes was a member of a group of Roman Catholic revolutionaries in England in the early 17th century. In 1605, this group planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James I of England, his family and most of the Protestant aristocracy...

Medieval Manuscripts Reveal More History

Medieval Manuscripts Reveal More History

As visitors wander through the Abbey Museum they come across the entrance to a side gallery. Dimly lit, a figure of an old monk sitting in the corner, silently scribing a biblical text, beckons the visitors in. As they near the doorway case lights flicker on to reveal...