Museums open this Easter

Thinking of visiting a museum this Easter? There are ten to choose from in North Bucks.

There’s a location map here for each one, but they might not help you find the museums, as these maps are all about 120 years old! I have taken pity on you, though, and provided addresses with postcodes, and links to each website.

Here are the museums, starting from the most Northerly museum and working South. There’s also some details about what's changed since these maps were made. The maps are all courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

Cowper & Newton Museum mapOlney has grown to fill the area to the left of the High Street. The station and the area around it has also been built on.

The Cowper & Newton Museum is in Orchard Side House, Market Place, Olney, MK46 4AJ, in the 18th Century home of the renowned poet William Cowper. His friend John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. Here you can learn their story.

They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm, but closed Good Friday 7th April.

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Amazingly Graceful

Cowper and Newton museum

The Cowper & Newton museum at Olney opened for the 2023 season on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February.

On that Tuesday every year their House manager Paula Noble dresses up in graceful Georgian period costume to publicise the museum at the town’s annual pancake race. The lace on her sleeves was made by her late mother.

The museum celebrates the lives and close friendship of the 18th century men William Cowper, renowned poet, and the Rev. John Newton, who threw his weight behind the abolition of the African Slave Trade. Of course, Newton was also the composer of the hymn Amazing Grace.

The museum will be open every week until 20th December from 11am-4:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. But it will be closed on Good Friday (7th April) and on Coronation day (6th May).

It’s well worth a visit.

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Do It Yourself

Medieval Combat SocietyYou won’t be surprised to learn that these are members of the Medieval Combat Society.

If you are reading this blog, it’s likely you are interested in history.

But you can do more than just read about it, watch documentaries or visit historical places. You can join a reenactment society, experience life in the periods you most enjoy, (even camping in an authentic manner) and get to meet other people that share your interests.

17th Foot Regiment sentryThis soldier from the British 17th Foot Regiment showed me the loading procedure for his Brown Bess musket. From this procedure came quite a few well known phrases; “keeping your (gun) powder dry” and “going off half cocked” are just two of them.
He is part of the Redcoats and Revolutionaries group, who reenact both sides of the American War of Independence. They say: “As a prospective member, you may choose with who your allegiance lies: with HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE III or with the REVOLUTIONARIES of the colonies.”

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Museums to Open for Visitors

Buckinghamshire Railway CentrePhoto courtesy of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

We can soon visit museums again! With the relaxing of lockdown restrictions most of the museums in the North Bucks area will be permitted to open, plus there’s a brand new museum (if you can call a museum brand new) opening in August.

Many, but not all of these museums require you to prebook; just click on the link.

Most of them have been busy creating new exhibits during lockdown, so if you’ve been before it’s time to go again! The museums are in order of location, starting from the North and working South.

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