Ashby de la Zouch Museum Digital Engagement Projects

Ashby de la Zouch Museum Digital Engagement Projects Blog

Archaeological dig

An exciting afternoon touring the excavations at St Helen’s and filming not only the site but the commentary from Lee the archaeologist.  He also showed some of the finds that had been dug out such as beautifully patterned floor tiles from the medieval rectory, pieces of pottery and a ridge tile, complete with a point to stop witches landing on the roof!  A deer antler showed that the medieval rector ate very well.  All the finds point to a wealthy building.  I have uploaded a few still photographs to our Facebook page and you can reach them via the link below.

Having sorted out the education cupboards at the Museum I couldn’t resist having a go with one of the talking photo albums.  As an experiment we now have a talking book about the Tudors on gallery.  We will have to see how much interest there is in it – and how long the batteries last!

Coming up this Wednesday is the first of our evening talks this season.  Robin Jenkins from the County Record Office will be talking about the Crimean War and Leicestershire.  It starts at 7.30 with doors opening at 7pm.  Robin is very knowledgeable and this is sure to be an interesting talk.  If you are coming please phone or call in at the Museum to put your name on the list.  It does help us a lot when we set out the room if know how many people to expect.

To see more photos of the archaeological site follow this link:


Education Education Education

We were very pleased to welcome Councillor Alison Smith and Goff Lewis from NW Leics to the Museum last Saturday afternoon. They came as part of a tour of venues in NW Leics who had been given awards in the last round of Heritage Awards so were particularly interested to hear about our monthly Kids’ History Club and the PenFriend audio trails.  They very much enjoyed their visit and left some nice comments in the visitors book!

Talking of PenFriend audio trails it looks as though we will be able to offer German as well as French before too long.  Italian and Spanish are also a possibility.

This week has seen the launch of our big push on Museum Education with information going into all the local primary schools about school visits and the Kids’ History club.  I hope to be going in to Ashby primary schools soon to do more on everything the Museum has to offer but we are hoping to attract more schools from the general area, not just Ashby.  We have some specially themed visits already prepared – Toys Old and New, World War II Home Front, Victorian Children,  Behind the Scenes at the Museum, to name but a few.  We can also tailor sessions to particular themes for schools if they request.

We are very excited about welcoming Donisthorpe Primary School Year 5 and 6 children to the Museum in October for a Second World War Home Front “Inspiration Day”.  Should be a really good day.

Talking of education, I have been sorting out the education cupboards at the Museum and have found some interesting things!  Fancy making your own talking book?  We’ll be having a go soon so look out for the results around the Museum.

Well, Monday sees us out on location filming the excavation at St Helens.  It has taken a while to set this up but I should be able to tell you more about it in the next post and there should even be some pictures!

Well done to the Friends of Ashby Museum who attracted a record audience to their Coffee Morning last Wednesday.  Visitors were entertained by Denis Baker of the Swannington Heritage Trust talking about the Leicester and Swannington Railway.  Tomorrow the Friends are holding a Free Open Day to show visitors what goes on at the Museum and how the Friends organisation has been able to support us over the past few years.


Digging deep

Everyone in Leicestershire and round about is getting very excited about the archaeological dig in Leicester which MAY have uncovered the body of Richard III.  Go Leicestershire are even offering Richard III Short Breaks!

Leicester Museums have a good site on Richard III which also contains much else about Leicester’s past:  Thanks to Kerem Cetimdamar of Leicester Museums for showing us this at our Digital Engagement Network meeting today.  Thanks also to Caroline Moore for organising the meeting and to Andrea Martin of The Collection, Lincoln for hosting it.  Some good ideas taken from this as always.  Look out for the adventures of “Bullens Grocery Delivery Bicycle”!

Here in Ashby de la Zouch we also have a professional archaeological excavation going on in the grounds of St Helen’s Church.  I visited the site on Tuesday and was amazed at how much they have uncovered.  I will be going back next week to do some filming so stand by for more news then.

Due to popular demand our temporary exhibition on The Standard Soap Company has been extended to 25th or 26th October.  There will then be a short break in the temporary exhibition programme although we plan to use the space to promote Museum events and services until the New Year when the next temporary exhibition will be launched.

Next week the Friends of Ashby Museum have two events.  19th September is a coffee morning starting at 10.30 with Denis Baker talking about the Leicester to Swannington Railway.  Saturday 22nd September is a special free morning starting at 10am which the Friends are using to showcase the Museum and what goes on behind the scenes.  In particular, they will be showing some items from the archives not usually on show, some of which they have helped to buy for the Museum.  Pop in any time between 10am and 1pm.


About this Sponsor

Ashby Museum was established in 1982 in a small cottage in Lower Church Street. In 1991 it relocated to its present home in North Street, where it shares the old National School building with the town Library and Tourist Information Centre. In 2006-7, thanks to a major Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, a two storey extension was added. It is a Registered Charity and is run by a group of trustees supported by over 50 volunteer custodians. It won the Leicestershire Heritage Award for best temporary exhibitions in 1998, 2001 and 2003. In July 2007, the museum won Museum of the Year in Leicestershire. It works closely with the county Museum Service and other independent museums in the area, sharing expertise and artefacts.