News In Brief - Week Ending June 18 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 12 June 2006

Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending June 18 2006.

photo of a stone urn in parkland

16/06/2006 - National Trust Celebrates 10 Years Of Restoration At Croome

The National Trust will mark the 10th anniversary of its project to faithfully restore Capability Brown's first landscaped gardens at Croome Park, Worcestershire, on June 20 2006. It has been the largest scheme of its kind undertaken by the Trust, and visitors can join in special events on the weekend of June 24-25.

Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, commented:"Projects like this don't happen overnight. Ten years ago, Croome Park was almost unrecognisable and its wonderful views were in danger of being lost forever. Now, thanks to a lot of hard work and perseverance we can enjoy the park in all its glory safe in the knowledge that future generations will also be able to enjoy and marvel in it."

a photograph of two men playing an instrument with mallets

16/06/2006 – Early Keswick Rock Music Goes On Air In America

Project Manager Peter Fox from Keswick Museum and Art Gallery was all too pleased to oblige when he received an unusual request from the United States recently. National Public Radio in Washington DC wanted to broadcast the sound of the museum’s musical stones during a live feature.

Rather than play them live – the show was going out at 3am BST – he sent the station a digital recording of a recent performance. Hear the show at, or see the amazing 19th century ‘rock harmonium’ at Keswick Museum. The instrument will go on tour to Liverpool on September 15 and 16 2006 for the Biennial arts festival.

16/06/2006 - Kenilworth Castle Gatehouse Re-Opens With A Weekend Of Celebrations

After two years of conservation work, the spectacular Leicester Gatehouse at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire is once again open to the public. Culture Minister, David Lammy and historian Dr David Starkey formally opened the Gatehouse on Thursday 15 June.

This weekend, Kenilworth Castle will come alive with faces from its past, as the English Heritage site hosts two days of historic celebrations and re-enactments to mark the opening.

a photograph of a large ornate cabinet

15/06/2006 - Pope's Cabinet Set For Public Restoration At Stourhead.

One of the most remarkable pieces of furniture in Europe is to be publicly restored at its home - the National Trust property Stourhead. The Pope's Cabinet was believed to be created in Rome around 1590 for Pope Sixtus V and has a heavily jeweled facade that resembles a Roman Baroque church.

The Trust has constructed a public studio in the Column Room within Stourhead House in which the conservation work on the dismantled cabinet will take place. "Through the project, we hope to be able to determine definitively the Cabinet’s origins, its more recent history at Stourhead and some of the secrets of this Pandora’s box," said National Trust Furniture Curator, Christopher Rowell. Picture © NTPL

15/6/2006 - Brunel Engine House Launches New Book On Thames Tunnel

On June 18 a new book about the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe will be launched at the Brunel Engine House Museum. The Brunels' Tunnel, foreword by Michael Palin, introduces readers to an underwater banquet hall, an underwater shopping arcade and an underwater fairground, all thriving beneath the Thames before the trains came.

The book is dedicated to late Chairman of Trustees Colin Kirkland OBE, Technical Director of the Channel Tunnel, who so helped the museum before his untimely death last year. The Museum also opens a new gallery which uses a technology called electro-luminescence, seen in a museum for the first time.

a photograph of an archaeological dig

14/06/2006 - Volunteers Needed For West Sussex Archaeological Dig

Chichester District Council needs volunteers to help with a dig at Selhurstpark Farm near Boxgrove in West Sussex between August 1 and 26 2006. An Iron Age farmstead was found at the site in 2005 and it is thought there may be many Iron Age and Roman discoveries to be made there.

All ages and experiences welcome - contact George Anelay on 01243 534515 for more details. Picture © Chichester District Council

14/06/2006 - Kids To Become Visitor Guides At Claypotts Castle

Historic Scotland has launched a Junior Guide Initiative which will see Primary 6 pupils being trained as costumed guides for other groups of shoolchildren at Claypotts Castle near Dundee. The kids from Claypotts Castle Primary School and Doune Primary will be trained this summer and lead the groups when they enter Primary 7.

"We hope to get other schools in the future," said Sue Mitchell, Head of Education at Historic Scotland.

a colour photograph of a tram trundling down a street

13/06/2006 - Beamish Launches 'Adopt A Tram' Scheme

Transport enthusiasts are being offered the opportunity to adopt their very own tram at Beamish, North of England Open Air Museum. For just £35 tram devotees get a colour print of the chosen tram, an invitation to an exclusive tram-themed event and the chance to act as conductor for a trip around the Beamish tramway.

"Now individuals can have their own little piece of transport history and at the same time make a contribution to preserving north-east heritage for the future,” said Anne Burton, Beamish's Head of Fundraising. To adopt a Beamish tram, contact Anne on 0191 370 4021 or email

13/06/2006 - Broughton House Wins Scottish Conservation Award

The National Trust for Scotland's historic Broughton House and Garden in Kircudbright has won the RICS Scotland Building Conservation Award 2006, which recognises excellence in the built environment.

The judges praised Broughton House, saying: "The sympathetic conversion by a skilled team has halted the decline of the building and further enhanced Kirkcudbright's reputation as an artists' town."

13/06/2006 - Pre-Reformation Church Reconstruction Enters New Phase

St Fagan's Natural History Museum of Wales is close to finishing reconstruction of St Teilo's church at the open air museum near Cardiff. Work has now started on the interior of the pre-Reformation building with the installation of a decorative rood screen.

The church fell into disrepair in the 1970s and since 1997 has been moved stone by stone from its original location at Llandeilo Tal-y-Bont to the museum site. It is hoped that the ambitious reconstruction project will be completed in 2007.

black and white photo of a group of slate miners in front of quarry buildings

12/06/2006 - National Museum Wales Staff Travel To New York State To Explore Quarrying Heritage

On June 11 2006 Dr Dafydd Roberts, Keeper at National Slate Museum, Llanberis and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales Director General, Michael Houlihan, took part in a special memory sharing event at its twin museum - the Slate Valley Museum in Granvile, New York.

Many Welsh slate mining families emigrated to the quarrying towns of New York state in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the museums are keen to explore the links between the two communities.

"By working with a similar museum in another part of the world, we are able to share and compare experiences and bring people and their memories together in a museum environment," said Mr Houlihan.

12/06/2006 - The Emperor's Terrapin Comes To National Museum Cardiff

A unique jade carving has just gone on show at National Museum Cardiff as part of the British Museum's UK Partnership Project.

Dating from the late 16th century and belonging to the northern Indian emperor Jahangir, the carved jade terrapin is one of the world' largest carvings made from a single piece of the precious stone and measures 48.5cm by 20cm. It will be on display in Cardiff until August 6 2006.

photo of a red brick museum building

12/06/2006 - Worthing To Host Its First Children's Open Art Exhibition

Worthing Museum and Art Gallery has announced its first open art exhibition aimed just at children and young people. There will be three age categories: 0-6 years, 7-11 years and 12-16 years and a panel of judges will choose a varied mixture of their favourite entries to be displayed at the exhibition which opens on November 11 2006.

12/06/2006 - National Museums Liverpool And University Of Liverpool To Embark On Joint Research Project

Following a grant of £9,860 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the University of Liverpool are joining forces to make the most of current research in the arts in the city.

The two institutions will share ideas about their own research and how it can be used to benefit wider audiences and will embark on a series of six workshops, starting in June 2006, to discuss the key concepts and issues involved in joint research between museums and universities.

The three themes chosen to inspire young artists are Animals, People and your local Environment. Application forms are available from July 4 2006 at the museum, Worthing Animal Clinic, Northbrook College and the Environment Agency, Little High Street, Worthing.

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