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Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shrewsbury
(4.4/5 based on 380+ reviews on the web)
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery was founded in 1835 as the Museum of the Shropshire and North Wales Natural History and Antiquarian Society Society in Dogpole, Shrewsbury, England. In 1853 the collections were moved to Vaughan's Mansion on College Hill, which became known as the Shropshire and North Wales Museum. After 160 years and two subsequent homes the museum returned to Vaughan's Mansion and the Music Hall Complex after a major redevelopment of the site.HistoryThe Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery was founded in 1835 as the Museum of the Shropshire and North Wales Natural History and Antiquarian Society Society in Dogpole, Shrewsbury. In 1853 the collections were moved to Vaughan's Mansion on College Hill, which became known as the Shropshire and North Wales Museum.In 1877 the Society merged with newly formed Shropshire Archaeological Society to become Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. That year the museum accepted a major collection of finds recently excavated at Wroxeter.The museum celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1885 with the transfer of the museum and library to the recently vacated old Shrewsbury School building. At this time the museum was placed under public ownership (Corporation of Shrewsbury) - becoming Shrewsbury Museum and Free Library.In 1894 the Curator, George Holt, published the Rules of the Shrewsbury Free Museum. These state that: No children under 14 years of age shall be admitted, unless in charge of some responsible person.Persons are not allowed to lean upon the cases, or to touch any of the objects exhibited, and if found so doing, they shall be liable to immediate expulsion.No person shall be admitted who is intoxicated or is in an uncleanly condition, nor shall any smoking be permitted, nor shall any person be allowed to partake of refreshments therein. Playing, gaming, betting, swearing, and spitting, are strictly prohibited, nor shall any dog be admitted.Any person who shall offend against these regulations, or shall be guilty of any misconduct, shall not be allowed to remain within the building. In 1931 'Rowley's House' was acquired by the Corporation of Shrewsbury through the generosity of Morris and Co. for the particular purpose of housing archaeological material from the site of Viroconium Cornoviorum near Wroxeter. The building opened to the public seven years later and became known as the Uriconium or Roman Museum.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A very pleasant local museum, strangely quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Plenty of good local exhibits to see, taught me much I didnt know about Shrewsbury. A ttad expensive though at £4 (concessions) 
  • This is a great local museum which gives a really good understanding of the surrounding area and key events over time. The special exhibition was locally significant and very interesting and linked in...  more »
  • A good, clean and bright museum but very little of any real interest for myself personally. Lots of cabinets filled with not very much. Historical artwork was lovely to see, as well as the Stain Glass...  more »
Google
  • Shame more dont support it. Brilliant musuem family friendly and great staff
  • Well worth a visit.
  • Interesting exhibitions.
  • On the whole, the relocation of Shrewsbury's museum to the old Music Hall site has been a big success. It's an atmospheric complex of buildings, including an intriguing survival of a ancient hall; and it's full of excellent, interesting exhibits. The medieval section is delightful. My one big quibble about the rest of the museum is that far too few background details are supplied. Modern curators have a bizarre loathing of providing written information. "Captions on pieces of card in glass cases" are anathema to them, seen as stuffy and boring. The trouble is, without them, the visitor is left unenlightened as to what she or he is looking at. In this respect the new museum is definitely worse than the old. The Roman section, for instance, is full of fascinating objects. Practically none of them have any contextualising information attached. To give one example out of many, in one display case there is a Roman army discharge certificate, a small rectangle of metal engraved in Latin. No background or explanation is given. I remember that in the old museum, there was a caption setting out what such certificates were, how many years’ service a legionary had to have to qualify for one, what the inscription on the certificate said in English translation, etc. Presumably the new curators assume that none of their visitors will be interested in any of this, that the most they can hope for is a quick uninformed blink before the ignorant visitor moves on, still ignorant. How condescending this is, and what a waste of an opportunity to educate and inform, especially for young people keen to find out more about what is on display.
  • A lovely place with helpful and friendly staff. Currently showing work by Tracy Emin, Damien Hurst and Charming Baker and others in the Special Exhibition Gallery. The permanent installations in the museum are the Roman Gallery, The Medieval Gallery, The Tudor Gallery, The Stuart Gallery, The Shropshire Gallery and the Balcony- All worth a look :-) Highly Recommended.