What’s On at Chippenham Museum

colour photograph of two ladies in Victorian costume

A Victorian Summer

Enjoy a programme of  both free and bookable events inspired by exhibition Kilvert’s World (5 July – 12 October).

Museum Lates

Thursdays: 5 August,  9 September, 7 October

Free, drop in until 7pm

Visit Chippenham Museum until 7pm after work, or on your way to dinner, at these special late openings. Meet your friends here to enjoy exhibition ‘Kilvert’s World’ and discover our collection of over 35,000 objects.

The Pop-Up Pedestal Street Theatre

Saturday 14 August, 11am – 2pm 

Free entry,  three performances

If only statues could talk… well this one can! Meet Florence Nightingale as part of Chippenham Museum’s Victorian Summer as she invites you to consider who you think should be remembered in history and how.

Victorian Day

Saturday 21 August, 10am – 4pm 

Free entry, no need to book

Join us for a day of all things Victorian. From croquet to lacemaking and how to dance a quadrille discover the genteel pastimes of Kilvert’s World. Enjoy a day of events with costumed Victorian re-enactors suitable for all the family

Summer Holiday Workshops

Creative activities inspired by exhibition ‘Kilvert’s World’. The museum is free for all ages to explore with dressing up, brass rubbing and lots of fun to be had!

Make an Embroidery Sampler

Wednesday 28 July, 10.30am – 12.30pm

£8 , book here. Ages 8 and above.

Join Members of the Bath Textile Artist Group to make an embroidery sampler. Once it was only girls who used to have fun with samplers but now anyone can have a go. Come and explore the history of samplers and start to stich your own. You will learn different stitches and can choose a range of motifs to produce your own design or sew a prepared piece. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced stitcher there will be something for you.

Children’s Art Walk

Wednesday 4 August, 2pm – 3pm

£4 per child, book here.  Recommended age 6 and above, all children must be accompanied.

Meet at the town bridge entrance to Monkton Park.

Take a walk through Monkton Park with a bit of a difference. For this fun arty session, you will receive a pack with pencils, crayons and plenty of paper and join local artist Kirsty Jones to explore the wonderful setting of the park.

Writing & Performance Workshop

Wednesday 11 August, 9.30am – 3.30pm

£20, book here. Ages 8 and above, please bring a packed lunch.

Come and join writer, facilitator and performer Ruth Hill for a day of writing and performing. In the morning you will write something inspired by the museum’s exhibition which focusses on local Victorian diarist Rev. Francis Kilvert. Using the exhibition for inspiration, you will write stories, poems and scripts. Ruth will help you create a piece of work you are proud of and in the afternoon, you will work together to direct, stage and perform your pieces of writing to a small audience of your family and friends.  You can take part as a writer, performer, director or all three. Come and develop your skills, whether you love writing and performing, or just want to give it a go.

Make a Camera Obscura

Wednesday 18 August, 10.30am – 12.30pm / 1.30pm – 3.30pm 

£6, booking coming soon please contact us to reserve.  Ages 6+ (under 8s accompanied).

See the world turned upside down! Join Chippenham Museum to learn about the science of photography and create your own camera obscura to take home. Working with Lacock Abbey, the birthplace of photography, this workshop celebrates Chippenham’s connection to Victorian inventor William Henry Fox Talbot. Once resident at the abbey and MP for Chippenham, Fox Talbot created the world’s first photographic negative.

Simple Scrapbooking

Wednesday 25 August, 10am / 11.30am / 1pm / 2.30pm

£4, booking essential. Ages 6+ (under 8s accompanied)

10am book here,  11.30am book here,  1pm book here, 2.30pm book here

In this one hour workshop create your own simple mini scrap book inspired by our latest exhibition. Use words, photos and your own drawings to explore this popular Victorian pastime.

Exhibition Talks

Enjoy a selection of free talks exploring themes within exhibition ‘Kilvert’s World’, with a mixture of virtual and in-person events.

An Introduction to Kilvert with The Kilvert Society

Watch online here

Recorded on 21 July, we are delighted to be joined by the Chair of the Kilvert Society Alan Brimson for an enjoyable introduction the famous diarist’s life and legacy.  Details about membership to the Kilvert Society can be found here.

Rakes to Riches: The Tale of The Wiltshire Heiress

Wednesday 18 August, 7pm 

Free, booking available soon

Delving deeper into one of Kilvert’s diary entries, this talk reveals the lesser known tale of Catherine Tylney Long of Draycot House, also known as the Wiltshire Heiress.

Kilvert goes to the Museum

Thursday 23 September, 7pm

Free, booking available soon

Taking inspiration from Chippenham Museum’s Kilvert exhibition, this talk looks at the diarist’s interest in galleries, museums and exhibitions of the Victorian period.

Creative Workshops for Adults

Join us for a number of workshops for adults inspired by the exhibition.

Experimental Embroidery

Saturday 14 August, 2pm – 4pm 

£18, booking available soon please contact us to reserve

Join members of Bath Textile Artists at Chippenham Museum to experiment with samplers. Take your favourite stitches or learn new ones. Play about with them, distort, enlarge, squash them to produce a fun piece of modern embroidery which granny wouldn’t recognize as a sampler. All materials are provided and no experience necessary.

Kilvert Inspired Creative Writing

Six sessions, Wednesdays 1 – 29 September & event Saturday 9 October

£45, booking available soon please contact us to reserve

Join writer, facilitator and performer Ruth Hill at Chippenham Museum for a series of six creative writing sessions inspired by the museum’s exhibition Kilvert’s World.  Using the exhibition for inspiration, Ruth will guide you to create your own writing. Each week will have a different focus, with writing exercises, explorations of language, structure and form, and peer discussion, you will have the opportunity to write in a style which suits you. The sessions will culminate in a performance on Saturday 9 October where actors will give voice to your writing. Suitable for all levels of writer.

Art Walk in Monkton Park

Tuesday 7 September

£15, booking coming soon please contact us to reserve

Take a walk in Monkton Park with a bit of a difference. Join local artist Kirsty Jones with Chippenham Museum to explore the park’s riverside paths, open spaces and architectural views. Experiment with different drawing exercises and mediums to capture your evening stroll. This workshop is inspired by the museum’s exhibition, which focusses on local Victorian diarist Rev. Francis Kilvert a frequent visitor to Monkton House. At this session you will receive a pack with pencils, charcoal and plenty of paper. Meet at the town bridge entrance to Monkton Park.

Town Walks

Join Chippenham Museum for a free guided walk introducing the town’s history, from King Alfred and the Saxons to the present day. This 40 minute exploration of the town is perfect for both residents and visitors. Booking is essential, please book a place for all adults and children attending.

Saturdays at 11am

Saturday 3 July, 11am  Free, fully booked

Saturday 7 August, 11am  Free, fully booked

Saturday 4 September, 11am  Free, fully booked

Saturday 2 October, 11am  Free, fully booked

Wednesdays at 7pm

Wednesday 14 July, 7pm  Free, fully booked

Wednesday 11 August, 7pm  Free, fully booked

Wednesday 15 September, 7pm  Free, fully booked

Regular Activities for children & families

Discovery Time

Will be resumed as soon as possible. Every Monday (excluding Bank Holidays), 10.15am-12.00noon, at the museum

£1.50 per child

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.

Museum Photo Club

Wednesdays, 4.30pm – 5.30pm

£6 per session, ages 11 – 17, booked termly with the museum

In association with The Photo Club, this after school club in the setting of the museum galleries runs photography projects for young people to learn new skills and be creative. The club aims to improve self-expression and motivation, focusing on activities to help mental health and wellbeing while capturing great images and having fun.

West Wiltshire Young Archeologists’ Club

Saturdays once a month, 10.30am – 12.30pm 

To find out about membership, contact the museum.

West Wiltshire YAC is open to everyone aged 8–16 years. YAC clubs get involved in all sorts of activities, including visiting and investigating archaeological sites and historic places, trying out traditional crafts, taking part in excavations, and lots more.

Regular Activities for adults

Crafty Café

Will be resumed as soon as possible. Mondays 2pm – 3.30pm, fortnightly

Free entry, no need to book just drop in

Grab your needlework or knitting and join us every other Monday for an afternoon of craft, coffee and conversation at Chippenham Museum. A chance to talk with other crafters, swap patterns, share skills and get advice if you are stuck on a stitch!  A fun and social way to share your hobby and maybe learn a new one?