The Cowper and Newton Museum

The Cowper and Newton Museum
Orchard Side
Market Place
Olney
Buckinghamshire
MK46 4AJ
England

Website

www.cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk

E-mail

house-manager@cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk

Telephone

01234 711516

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Cowper and Newton Museum
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Relive Georgian life by walking through the doors at the Cowper and Newton Museum, Olney, with its historic townhouse, authentic gardens and some of the greatest stories of the Georgian era.

Step back into Georgian life by walking back through Cowper's original home featuring a vast array of personal artefacts and belongings. Discover his comic sense of humour, his poetry and writings, his dark depressions and love of garden and animals – especially his three pet hares. Why he never opened his front door and why he is important figure in our literary heritage.

Experience life on board a slave ship and discover the journey that took Cowper’s friend, John Newton, from slave trade captain and slave himself to Olney Parish Curate and inspired him to write the world’s most famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ right here in Olney.

Escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy the sensory pleasures of two peaceful and tranquil Georgian gardens – The Walled Flower Garden with its numerous plants, shrubs and flowers dating back to 1800 and The Summer House Garden with its 300 year old garden house, medicinal plants, herbs and heritage fruit and vegetables all maintained organically, encouraging all forms of wild life.

Spend the rest of your visit looking round Olney with its beautiful 13th century church; Georgian architecture and market place; nearby country park at Emberton; unique gift and boutique shopping; and a great choice of restaurants, cafés and pubs for quick stops or leisurely dining.

Step back in history at The Cowper and Newton Museum, 115year old museum in the heart of Buckinghamshire.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Open from 4 March to 20 December

Mondays: Closed
Tuesday - Saturday: 10.30am - 4.30pm (last admission to museum 3:45pm)
Sunday: Summer time only in June, July and August - 12pm - 4pm

Open Good Friday, Easter Monday, Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Race Day).

Winter Closure: Christmas, New Year, January and February for refurbishment.

Admission charges

Adults £5.00 for an annual pass
Children under 16 - FREE
Parties of 12 people or more: £5.00 per head, £6.00 with pre-booked guided tour Garden only £1.50
Special events: See website for details

Getting there

Olney is on the A509, 5 miles North of Newport Pagnell and 7 miles from Junction 14 of the M1.

Olney is easily accessible by car from Bedford, Northampton, Wellingborough, Milton Keynes and the M1 motorway.

There is an hourly Arriva bus service no.1 linking Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central Station, Newport Pagnell and Olney. Olney can also be reached from Northampton and Bedford using Stagecoach East bus service 41.

Additional info

Shop, Gallery, Museum and Walled Gardens

All parking in Olney is free.

Coach parties are welcome by prior arrangement. Please contact the House Manager on 01234 711516/ house-manager@cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk.

Accessibility:
There is regrettably there is no wheelchair access to the Museum. The garden and shop can be accessed and three rooms in Cowper’s house are accessible via two or three steps.

The building is a three-storey townhouse with a staircase between each floor. There are handrails on the staircase and visitor seating in every room. A ground-level adapted toilet is available and there is parking for blue badge holders nearby.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • William Cowper - The famous 18th century poet, letter-writer and classical scholar.
  • Rev. John Newton - Cowper's spiritual mentor, author of "Amazing Grace"
  • Lacemaking - The local history of the industry.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

"Inspiration"

  • 1 — 30 May 2015

Rob and Lea chose the word ‘inspiration’ for the title of this exhibition because it is the one word that runs through both of their art experiences. This exhibition is an opportunity for both Rob and Lea to display their work and to bring pleasure to those viewing it, but, more importantly, to hopefully inspire others to take up art. This is not an exhibition of great art or a display of their best work, it is all about their art journeys, from knowing nothing about art to turning their new-found observation skills into pieces of art. Come and be inspired to start your own journey.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
William Hayley, William Cowper

Museum's at Night - The Cowper and Newton

  • 16 May 2015 7-10:30pm

Our 18thC garden originally belonged to the apothecary who lived next door to Orchard Side. After his death, Cowper was allowed the use of this former medicinal and herbal garden. Selected friends were allowed to visit him in the unique building in the centre, which he described as his ‘verse manufactory’ or ‘sulking house’ dependent on his mood. After the poet’s death admirers of his works visited this small ‘literary shrine’ and many inscribed their names and dates on the walls and ceiling, the earliest found being 1802!

Follow a lantern-lit pathway through the gardens to William Cowper’s Summer House. Enjoy a glass of wine, music and conversation, learn more about the summer house’s history and be treated to a fabulous talk by Lisa Gee on William Hayley, Cowper’s biographer and the Poet Laureate that England never had.

Admission

Entrance £6 per adult (to include wine)

Website

http://www.cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/events/category/museum-events/

William Cowper, The Alcove, Weston Underwood

Walk in the footsteps of Cowper up to the Alcove

  • 24 May 2015 10:30am-2pm

“The summit gained. Behold the proud alcove that crowns it!”
so wrote William Cowper in ‘The Task’ referring to the folly in the pretty village of Weston Underwood.

Just two miles or so from Olney, this is where Cowper would rest on his walks and where he wrote many of his most famous poems while taking in the wonderful views of Olney and the surrounding countryside.

We’ll walk the fields that Cowper walked and reach the Alcove around noon where we’ll have readings of Cowper’s poetry and some light refreshments.
Plenty of folk on hand to assist you over the two stiles!
Walk approx. 6 miles.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£10 per person (includes light refreshments)

Website

http://www.cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/events/category/museum-events/

Getting there

Olney is on the A509, 5 miles North of Newport Pagnell and 7 miles from Junction 14 of the M1.

Olney is easily accessible by car from Bedford, Northampton, Wellingborough, Milton Keynes and the M1 motorway.

There is an hourly Arriva bus service no.1 linking Bletchley, Milton Keynes Central Station, Newport Pagnell and Olney. Olney can also be reached from Northampton and Bedford using Stagecoach East bus service 41.

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