What’s On at Chippenham Museum

Autumn 2019 Events Programme

Download our Museum Events Programme to see What’s On at Chippenham Museum and Neeld Community & Arts Centre from September to December 2019.

Current Exhibition

Crime & Punishment

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)

Whodunit!? Trail

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…

Heritage Open Days

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Atelier Nursery

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.

Adult Creative Workshops

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.

Ceramic Tiles with Jo Taylor

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

Sketchbooks with April Barlow

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

Regular Activities

Discovery Time

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

History Walks

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