Ashwell Museum

Photo:The building in the late 1920s, shortly before restoration

The building in the late 1920s, shortly before restoration

Photo:...and in the early 1930s, shortly after

...and in the early 1930s, shortly after

Swan Street

The building started life in about 1500 as a shop in the market place.  It had two rooms, with the upper one reached by a ladder.  It has a king post roof (you can go in to see it), which is rather grand for such a small building.  So who was the first owner?

Look for the row of peg holes below the window, where the shutter hinged down to form an outside table to display the wares.

It was known as the Town House. 

Churchwardens, Parish Constables, Overseers of the Poor and Non-Conformists all held meetings here.  It has also been a Plait School, a tailor’s shop, a dwelling house and even a barn to store straw and hay when the butcher’s abattoir was next door. 

In 1930 it became the Village Museum, thanks to the vision of two schoolboys, Albert Sheldrick and John Bray, and the generosity of Sir William Gentle.

This page was added on 21/12/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.