There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of Shropshire. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?
Many Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at museums around the county (see the links that accompany the descriptions below).
A historic working farm where the lands are worked by heavy horses. There are daily demonstrations of period skills and visits from the Wheelwright, Farrier and Blacksmith, providing a picture of life as it might have been on a Victorian country estate. Usually open 10 am to 4.30 pm, March to October. See website for up-to-date opening times and prices.
The museum covers the history of Bridgnorth and the local area. Run by volunteers, it is open 12.30 – 3.30 pm on Wednesdays and Weekends, from Easter to October. Entrance is free and PAS recorded items on display include a Coin Hoard and Dress Fastener.
Owned and run by the House on Crutches Museum Collection Trust, the Heritage Resource Centre is open Saturday mornings as a Local History Centre and their collection can be searched online. The trust is responsible for the displays in the House on Crutches Museum, which includes a PAS recorded Post-Medieval Silver Thimble. Managed and staffed entirely by volunteers, the museums opening times are limited to 2 – 5 pm on weekends between Easter and September. Entrance is free.
A heritage site established and run by volunteers, the museum preserves records and memorabilia of the Bishop’s Castle Railway, as well as other material of interest to railway enthusiasts and casual browsers. The museum is open between Easter and October on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 2 – 5 pm. Entrance if free.
Located in Oswestry, the museum tells something of the history of a railway system that in its heyday extended to almost 300 route miles. It exhibits memorabilia associated with the railway system operated by the Cambrian Railways Company and its successors, together with other items of railway interest. Admission is free and the museum is open Tuesday to Friday, 11 am – 3 pm between Easter and September, and 12 to 2 pm between October and Easter.
Located in the Town Hall, this small independent museum is run by Clun Town Trust. It houses one of the largest and most important prehistoric flint collections in the region as well as numerous local historical and agricultural artefacts covering last 250 years reflecting the diversity of Trades in this once self contained town in the centre of a large farming community. Open from Easter until 31st October on Tuesdays 2 pm – 5 pm, Saturdays 11.00 am – 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm, and Bank Holiday Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm. Admission is 50p for adults.
An industrial museum in Shrewsbury, operated by the Shrewsbury Steam Trust on behalf of Shropshire Council. The museum comprises the English Heritage listed Victorian sewage Pumping Station buildings, the in-situ beam-engines and other items belonging to Shrewsbury Steam Trust. The museum is opened to the public 10 am to 4 pm on selected dates during the year and admission is charged at £3 for adults and £1 for children.
Located in Bridgnorth, Daniels Mill is the largest waterwheel powering a corn mill still working in England today. Virtually unaltered since the 18th Century it has been in the ownership of the same family for over 250 years. Open 11 am to 4 pm Thursday to Sunday between Easter and the end of October, for £5.00 visitors can see wheat being turned into flour by the heavy millstones and enjoy walks around peaceful pools and the old mill ruin.
Located at the Highley station of the Severn Valley Railway, The Engine House contains a collection of steam locomotives, along with railway-themed exhibitions. Entry is free with a ‘Freedom of the Line’ ticket. See website for opening times and ticket prices.
Composed of ten award-winning museums spread along the valley beside the River Severn, Ironbridge Gorge Museums offer the opportunity to see the products that set industry on its path and the machines that made them. There is a wide variety of experiences to be had including watching and talking to the museums’ craftsmen and costumed demonstrators. Various ticket options are available and opening times vary for museum to museum. See website for details.
A site steeped in history spanning both sides of the English Welsh border. 18th century Industrial archaeology has been preserved and interpreted and can be found within managed woodlands and meadows. Includes a nationally significant Hoffman kiln, which is one of three still standing in Britain. The site is open all the time.
A partly ruined medieval fortification, originally developed as one of a line of castles along the Marches to keep out the Welsh, and the inception of Ludlow as a settlement. As well as being able to explore the castle there are tea rooms and various events take place during the year. Opening time vary seasonally (see website for details and admission charges).
Now located in the Buttercross building at the centre of town, the museum covers local history and heritage. Ludlow Museum is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week and a small entrance fee is charged. PAS recorded treasure on permanent display comprises the Bitterley Hoard, which is one of the largest English civil war coin hoards found in the county, the South Shropshire Ring, and a gold, Medieval Finger-ring. Also of note, though not on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database, is the Dinham Pommel an early medieval 7th century gold and garnet sword fitting.
Housing the majority of Shropshire Museum Service’s collection currently not on display, the Resource Centre holds a number of PAS recorded coin hoards, silver items and artefacts within its Archaeology Store. The Resource Centre host volunteers, researchers and education sessions, as well as the Friends of Ludlow Museum‘s Fossils in Shropshire (FISH) project which is digitising the Geology Collection to make it more accessible. It is also where the FLO Peter is based most of the time and holds his volunteer days
Run by Drayton Civic Society the museum tells the story of the town, past and present, using artefacts and archive material, all donated by the people of the town. It is open to the general public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.30 am until 1 pm from May to October.
The museum tells the story of the town and surrounding area including the geology of Wenlock Edge, and its link to Dr. William Penny Brookes and the Modern Olympic Games. Entrance is free and opening times are 10.30 am – 1 pm and 1.30 pm – 4 pm Tuesday to Sunday between Easter and October, and reduced to Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November to Easter.
Located on the top floor of the Guildhall building at the north end of town, the Museum is run by volunteers. It is open 10 am – 4 pm Wednesday and Fridays, and 10 am – 3.30 pm Saturdays. Entree is free and the museum covers the history of Oswestry through displays on a variety of subjects. PAS recorded artefacts held here are a Bronze Age Hoard.
A countryside experience near Oswestry with regular hands-on animal activities, indoor and outdoor play areas for children. There are three museums at the site; Victorian School & Museum, Welsh Guards Museum, and a reproduction of an Iron Age Roundhouse; as well as the new trenches through the ages experience. Open daily 10 am until 4 or 5 pm dependent on season, admission is £8.95.
Housed in three Wartime Hangars and the National Cold War Exhibition the museum tells the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force. Displays include over 70 aircraft of international importance, engines, missiles and rocket-powered weapons, and exhibits on changes in air technology and Cold War history. Car park charges apply but entry is free. Open 10 am – 4 pm November to February, and 10 am – 5 pm March to October.
Found in the Music Hall building at the centre of Shrewsbury, the museum and art gallery houses a range of PAS recorded finds spread across a number of galleries, including the Shrewsbury Hoard, an Early Medieval Pendant and a Post-medieval Pin. The museum is open 10 am to 4.30 pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 11 am to 4 pm on Sundays. Entry prices vary from £4.50 for an adult to free entry for children aged four and under. The Roman Gallery, which is on the ground floor and accessed through the cafe, is free of charge to enter.
Open daily throughout the year 10 am – 5 pm. The Discovery Centre has both free and charged attractions and covers the geology, natural history, Iron Age history, art exhibits, local history of the Craven Arms Area. Highlights include the full sized replica of the Shropshire Mammoth and the 30 acre meadow to be explored. The Secret Hills Exhibition cost £3.50 for adults and £3 for children over five.
Housed in the medieval border fortress of Shrewsbury Castle the museum collection includes pictures, uniforms, medals, silverware, weapons and other artefacts from the 18th Century to the present day. The Castle has somewhat variable opening hours (see website for details) and admission is charged at £4 for Adults and £1 for children.
A well preserved fortified medieval manor house operated by English Heritage, it is open Weekends 10 am – 4 pm, and admission is £7 for adults and £4.10 for children. Highlights include a visit to the Great Hall which has been unchanged for over 700 years, and the breath-taking views of the Shropshire Hills seen from the fairy-tale tower.
Open 11 am – 4 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with free entry, there are a number of interesting finds and artefacts on display in the Main Exhibition Hall, where there is a section dedicated to Roman and Medieval history. A PAS recorded Early Medieval Hooked Tag is on display here.
Once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain, the exceptionally well preserved excavated remains of Wroxeter, and a museum with artefacts found at the site, are available to be explored. Operated by English Heritage, the site is open Weekends, 10am – 4pm and an entrance fee of £6 for adults and £3.60 for children is charged.
Societies & Organisations
Berth Archaeological Group (BAG)
c/o 7 Elstree Close, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury SY3 9QF
Tel: 01743 271706 email@example.com
Tenbury Wells & District Civic & Historical Society
Secretary, Howard Miller, 6 Oak Bridge Court, Tenbury Wells.
Tel: 01584 811669.
Tong Archaeological Group
c/o 1 Littlehales Road, Chetwynd Aston, Newport, Shropshire TF10 9AJ
Wrekin Historical Group formerly Telford Historical and Archaeological Society