News from the Museum

Beyond the Castle Walls

The Beyond the Castle Walls project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by Libraries, Arts and Heritage. It's a community participatory project which extends what the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum offers.

Decade Events

The 1980s event on 15 February 2014 was the last of our decade events and proved very popular, attracting over 400 visitors. Particularly popular was the 'Fame' style dance act by Susan Handy's School of Dance, who has since been booked for the final event in April. Watch out for our final extravaganza on Saturday 12th April on Bachelor's Acre. The event will give a taste of decades from the Victorians to the 1980s and include activities, dance, live music, and displays of project achievements by staff and volunteers. By the end of the 2 year project we hope that over 6000 people will have learnt from, been inspired by or at the very least enjoyed our activities and events in addition to our museum visitors.

'Fame' style dance act by Susan Handy's School of Dance


The project has depended upon the support of some great new volunteers. The extended group of volunteers has benefited from training sessions, involvement with oral history, community work and links with education. Overall, 94 volunteers have contributed 499 working days to the project so far.

Engagement with schools and young people

The Schools programme was publicised in the autumn Schools Bulletin. Langley Academy brought students to participate in our Court in the Act session, which proved very popular and has resulted in 3 further bookings in March and May 2014. A selection of local schools and a youth group have begun to engage with the Creative Commission, where museum objects inspire art-work. These young people are also working with the Spencer Denny Day Centre on an intergenerational music project. One of 3 family trails is now available - the age 0-6 trail is complete and you can come to the museum and try it out.

Court in the Act Session

Oral History interviews

We have recorded 42 interviews so far with some fascinating stories revealed. The project is now nearing its target of 50 interviews. Editing is progressing well and many interviews have now been 'burnt' onto CDs and shared with the interviewees. If you know of anyone who would like to record their memories, or want to know more about this project, please contact us on 01753 743950.

Oral History Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Kingsmead Quarry Prehistoric Finds on Display

On Wednesday 5th March 2014 some of the important prehistoric finds from the CEMEX Kingsmead Quarry, Horton went on public display for the first time at the museum. The important discoveries have been made over the last 11 years during excavations conducted by Wessex Archaeology. Central to the new display are the finds from a rich Beaker burial. The museum is also temporarily displaying a Bronze Age Globular Urn, an ornate Roman bowl and a delicate Roman shoe.

The event was officially opened by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Councillor Andrew Jenner and the Mayoress, Mrs Julia Jenner. The launch was held at a special exhibition in the Guildhall, which was followed in the evening by a well-attended public lecture given by lead archaeologists, Gareth Chaffey and Alistair Barclay entitled - Kingsmead's 'Queen' a woman of importance: Talk and display of prehistoric finds.
People will be able to see the display of prehistoric finds over the coming year.

Mayoress Mrs Julia Jenner, Mayor Councillor Andrew Jenner holding Prehistoric Beaker, Gareth Chaffey of Wessex Archaeology, Margaret Kirby Service Manager Arts and Heritage

Temporary Exhibition: The Clewer Collection

Clewer Museum came about through the enthusiasm of Reverend Denis Shaw, Rector of St Andrew, Clewer, from 1972 to 1992. In 1978 his sons Michael and Nicholas, discovered a Victorian rubbish dump in the rectory garden and they began a collection of finds which attracted a lot of local interest.

Eventually the collection was put on display in the Church Lodge and was officially opened as a Museum by HRH The Duchess of York on 21 June 1989.

Joyce Sampson took over as Honorary Curator when Denis retired and in 2000 she mounted a very successful exhibition '1000 years of Clewer' In 2001 the Lodge urgently needed re-wiring and refurbishment, and all the museum artefacts were removed to storage in the church shed.

In 2010, the collection was offered to the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum and the Clewer Collection of over 400 items was unpacked in St Andrew's Church, sorted, photographed, re- packed and acquired into the main museum collection. This work, which took two weeks, was done by a group of parishioners and museum volunteers led by museum staff.

Above, Joyce Sampson, in 2010, as part of the volunteer crew, helped in the church with re packing and sorting, and on the right, Beryl Hedges, one of the Friends of the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum, also assisted. The display now in the Museum is spread over 3 cases and features some of the most interesting items from the collection, a Victorian Family Bible, a baptismal shell, with intricate carvings, and a replica of the wax seal of Sir Bernard Brocas.

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Modified: 2014-03-14
Published: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:09:36
Author: Amelia Evans
Editor: Paul.Noakes
RDCMS ID: 28271