Download our Museum Events Programme to see What’s On at Chippenham Museum and Neeld Community & Arts Centre from September to December 2019.
Saturday 3 August – Saturday 28 September
This exhibition explores crime and punishment from the Saxon period through to the present day. It marks 180 years of Wiltshire Police (the first and best!) and will include loans from their historic police collection, including early uniforms, handcuffs and shackles!
Find out more on our Collections & Exhibitions page
Why not take part in our programme of associated activities and events:
Doing Time in Wiltshire – with John Girvan
Thursday 26 September – 6.30pm
Meet local historian John Girvan to hear about how Chippenham’s offenders were treated in the past, see Chippenham’s old lock up and discover some weird and wonderful tales from Wiltshire’s history.
Free entry (booking essential)
Everyday until Saturday 28 September
A crime has been committed at the museum! Can you help us find the culprit? Follow the trail of clues…
14 – 21 September
Celebrate Chippenham’s places and stories both past and present with a host of free events during Heritage Open Days. The programme, organised by Chippenham Museum, includes the opportunity to step inside some of the town’s most celebrated and intriguing buildings.
Please click here to download a guide to What’s On, with further details about each event below. Where available, follow the links with each event for access information and directions.
SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER
Pewsham Locks with Free Shuttle Bus from town
Site open 9am – 3.30pm, bus every 30 minutes from the Buttercross 10am – 2pm
Meet the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust volunteers restoring Pewsham Locks, enjoy the Pop Up Café and a trip on the water on the Mary Archard (weather/water levels permitting). Click here for more details.
St Nicholas Church Open Afternoon
2pm – 4pm
The only Grade II listed Georgian church in Wiltshire, considered to be a gem of its period. View the crypt, church records and war graves, refreshments available. Click here for more details.
SATURDAY 14 & SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
Sevington Victorian School
SN14 7LD, 2pm – 5pm
Visit the perfectly preserved schoolroom and meet school teacher Miss Squire. Enjoy tea and cakes in the parlour and see the Victorian garden and wash house. Click here for more details.
SATURDAY 14 – SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER
Brunel & Chippenham, Display & Trail
Chippenham Library, library opening hours, closed Sunday
Learn about Brunel, his legacy in Chippenham and contribution to the town’s heritage with this informative display and a trail around the library for children. Click here for more details.
FRIDAY 13 – THURSDAY 26 SEPTEMBER
Never Mind the Heritage Here’s the Art Show
Yelde Hall, 10am – 4pm, closed Sundays
An exhibition in the medieval Yelde Hall showcasing the eclectic mix of styles of three of Chippenham’s most original artists: Emma Sally, Mike Long and Si Griffiths.
WEDNESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
Talk: 40 Years of CLOGs
Chippenham Museum, 2pm, no need to book
A talk by David Powell, founding Chairman of Chippenham Light Operatic Group, reflecting on performances and stories on their 40th Anniversary.
THURSDAY 19 SEPTEMBER
Curator Talk: Dame Florence Hancock
Waterford Place, 7pm, booking essential via museum
Join Chippenham Museum Curator Melissa Barnett to discover the national impact of a woman born on Westmead Lane who went on to be President of the Trades Union Congress. A Blue Plaque dedicated to Dame Florence Hancock is being unveiled later this year. Click here for more details.
SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER – TOWN WIDE OPEN DOORS DAY
Look Up! Trail
Chippenham Museum, 10am – 4pm
Search for things you might normally miss whilst you are walking between Heritage Open Days venues. Enjoyable for adults as well as children!
Object Handling at Chippenham Museum
10am – 4pm
Hold history in your hands and learn about the museum’s collection, all ages welcome. Click here for more details.
Tour inside Chippenham’s Nestlé Building
10am, 11am & 12pm, no need to book
A distinctive building from Chippenham’s industrial past, join walking tours inside Avonbridge House – once home to Nestlé in Chippenham. Click here for more details.
Emery Lane, 10am – 12.30pm
See how this former Tabernacle URC Church has been respectfully converted into a nursery, with garden and story boat open for children to play.
Story Explorer Session: Wave the Flag and Blow The Whistle
Chippenham Library 11am – 11.45am, no need to book
Whisk your child away to a world of whistling trains with storytelling and craft activities for ages 3 – 7 before trying the library’s Brunel themed trail. Click here for more details.
St Andrew’s Church Open Day
11am – 4pm
Drop in or enjoy a talk at 11am and 1pm. A church has stood on this site since Anglo-Saxon times, learn about its fascinating history and features. Click here for more details.
Open Day at Tanner’s Cottage
26 Westmead Lane, 11am – 4pm
This intriguing property dates back to the mid 18 century. The cottage is now home to artist April Fool and the site of Chippenham’s soon to be unveiled new Blue Plaque. Click here for more details.
Jubilee Building & Chippenham Borough Lands Charity
Market Place, 12pm – 4pm
Discover the history behind this former literary and scientific institute and the valuable work of Chippenham Borough Lands Charity. Click here for more details.
Design Your Own Blue Plaque
Jubilee Building, 12pm – 4pm
Chippenham Civic Society are unveiling a new Blue Plaque this year. Learn about Chippenham’s 15 Blue Plaques and make your own to take home. Click here for more details.
The Cause Open Afternoon, with Live Jazz from 2pm
12pm – 4pm
The Cause dates back to 1700, when it was a Quaker meeting house, and is now a music and arts venue. View the First World War memorial unveiled this year for the 26 soldiers who were part of the Causeway Brotherhood and enjoy jazz by local group Maiden Voyage. Click here for more details.
Chippenham Museum is starting a new programme of adult workshops one month from Autumn 2019 to Spring 2020, with a variety of skills available to try and enjoy. No experience is necessary and refreshments are provided. The following two sessions are inspired by Chippenham Museum’s exhibition ‘Strange & Wonderful Beings: The Work of Clifford & Rosemary Ellis’ (5 October – 18 January). The exhibition celebrates the work of Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, whose artistic partnership included many iconic book cover and poster designs. Clifford Ellis is perhaps best known for his work as head of the pioneering Bath Academy of Art, based at Corsham Court.
Saturday 5 October, 2pm – 4pm
Enjoy a two hour workshop with local ceramic artist Jo Taylor. Make and decorate a set of ceramic tiles inspired by Chippenham Museum’s latest exhibition. Your work will then be fired and glazed professionally and ready to collect in a few weeks.
£32, booking essential
Saturday 2 November, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Be inspired by the museum’s collection and latest exhibition whilst developing new creative skills with local artist and teacher April Barlow
During this three hour adult workshop you will make your own sketchbook, combining a variety of papers, and be encouraged to discover new ways of drawing as you try different mark making techniques.
April studied at Goldsmiths College before teaching Art in Wiltshire secondary schools. She now practices as an independent from her own studio in Chippenham.
£15, booking essential
Every Monday (excluding Bank Holidays), 10.15am-12.00noon, at the museum
Messy play for under 5s. Develop their creative side with crafts, paints, toys, sandpit and more!
Please note this session takes place upstairs (with lift access) in the museum’s Education Room with buggy parking downstairs in the museum.
£1.50 per child
Every Wednesday in August – 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Join our regular guided summer walks to discover surprising stories about historic Chippenham.
£4 per person, meet at the museum
Each walk will focus on a different area of the town centre:
Wednesday 7 August: The Causeway & St Mary Street
Wednesday 14 August: High Street & the railway
Wednesday 21 August: River Avon
Wednesday 28 August: Market Place & River Street