We were so glad to leave Nottingham and come to the beautiful town of York. Better town, better museums (in my opinion).
Our first stop was the Jorvik Viking Museum. I can’t get over how fun it was. The first room you walk into has some archaeological finds and a few other bits and pieces. You then literally go on a ride through the museum. I’m not even joking. You get to sit in a viking-ship style car. As you are transported through the Viking village of Jorvik, the car talks to you – it explains what you’re seeing and how the settlement would have looked. I love it when museums get this interactive. You learn a little something and you enjoy yourself immensely. I loved going down the “main street” and seeing the stalls on the side of the road. It was packed full of information and provided the most fantastic introduction. Continue reading “Jorvik Viking Centre & Quilt Museum”
Well today is the day I have to bite the bullet and write my first negative review. I really don’t want to because I like to think that every museum has something to offer – something positive to write about. Wollaton Hall, however, has been the exception. It is a Hall but it also claims to be a Natural History Museum. Let’s start at the beginning.
To enter into the property is near impossible. There are no signs indicating the location of the car park, Hall and cafe/gift shop. So we arrived in a pretty bad mood to begin with. To be fair, the gentleman on front of house was pleasant and tried to help us as much as possible.
The bottom story of the Hall is meant to be a recreation of the Hall from the Elizabethan and Georgian periods. It kind of resembles that but it’s mostly just “hey let’s throw some stuff together and say Batman was filmed here”. Upstairs is the natural history section. You cannot throw a whole bunch of stuffed animals into a room and go “hey now we have a natural history section we can say was not in Batman”. My sarcasm is helping me to not cry at how this whole experience went. Continue reading “Wollaton Hall & Workhouse in Southwell”
On our way to Nottingham we visited our final Cotswolds village, Broadway. One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit this town is because it’s home to an offshoot of the Ashmolean Museum. The setting for this museum is wonderful. Broadway is such a beautiful town with so many quaint cafes and shops. Even if you don’t intend on seeing the museum, add this town to your Cotswold itinerary. Continue reading “Ashmolean Museum Broadway”
I was so thrilled to see that the beautiful Cotswold Village of Winchcombe had a police museum! It was one room filled with objects here and there and folders containing village ancestry piled high. Such a beautiful local museum.
The first section told the story of Winchcombe. Basically how the town was constructed, then reconstructed, then constructed again. The town dates back to neolithic times – there is even a section you can touch fossils dating back to this period. The town’s strongest connection is to the Saxon period. It has survived everything in between and beyond. There are so many cute knick-knacks around the reception desk. Victorian and Edwardian love cards, opera glasses and their case and a few Roman mosaic tiles. Beneath the glass case of goodies are a few folders containing oral histories of the area. These were a very nice addition. It is great to see the history, told by the people, kept alive. Continue reading “Winchcombe Police Museum”
Today was an incredible day spent at the British Museum. Our visit lasted well over two hours as we toured every collection; some of them in depth. The audio guide was pretty great in guiding us around some of the larger sections. For example, it helped us navigate the overwhelming Egyptian collection by pointing out a few highlights. As I remembered the Egyptian and Roman sections particularly well from last visits we decided to spend a bit more time in a collection close to my heart – the Mexican collection.
I was so excited to see what they had on display! The audio guide did not have a general tour of this room but there were lots of objects you could hear descriptions about. Seeing the pottery heads they decided to display was fantastic. It was also nice to be able to classify what I could see. The label for the heads simply read: Mexican pottery heads – also something about their headdresses indicating rank etc. It felt the best kind of nerdy being able to actually say well this one means this and this one means this and so on. There were also some pretty cool stone slabs from the Mayan period that took me right back to what I had seen in Mexico earlier this year. Continue reading “The British Museum”
Today we tied up our walking shoes and set our sights on two very different but very marvellous museums. We began with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Built on the site that the Crystal Palace (1851) once stood this museum is a gem from the entrance to the gift shop. There is just so much to see in this museum my main piece of advice is to grab a map!
Since we were on the ground floor and since I have no patience, we rushed straight to the fashion collection. They have some absolutely stunning pieces on display. I just wish there was more for the public to see. It was very teasing! My favourite piece was this corset from the nineteenth-century. It is so beautifully embroidered and manufactured. Some of the other pieces of under garments travelled out to Brisbane for the “Undressed” exhibit. It is incredibly fascinating to see how the ideal body shape has been achieved throughout time with the use of bits and bobs to restrict and mould. Continue reading “Victoria and Albert Museum & Hunterian Museum”
The last couple of days have been filled to the absolute brim. I will try to combine them in one post. So yesterday being Monday, not a lot of museums were open in London. I was so lucky to get the chance to meet the curator of the Americas and Oceania objects for the British Museum! She was lovely and answered every question I could possibly have on Mexican pottery. I saw a few of the examples they had in their collection which meant going behind the scenes and checking out how they store the items and what cataloguing system they have developed. Needless to say I was in my own little museum heaven. I don’t want to publish the photographs I took due to copyright etc but I did sketch the ones I saw. Brace yourselves for the next Van Gogh… Continue reading “The Old Operating Theatre”
What an absolutely incredible day! I have been told countless times by others how amazing the Imperial War Museum is and how I should visit it etc etc so I could not resist. To start, let me review the temporary exhibit: Fashion on the Ration.
This is probably the best museum exhibition I have ever seen. It was wonderfully curated and filled to the brim with fantastic objects. To begin, the exhibit explained how fashion during the Second World War suffered, but did not end. Rather, both men and women were forced to become creative and to cope with what they had. Like food, clothing was heavily rationed. The slogan of the times was “make do and mend”. It was incredible to see how inventive people became and what lengths they were willing to go to in order to maintain morale. Continue reading “Imperial War Museum & Florence Nightingale Museum”
Day one in London = museum number one: the Wellcome Collection. I was extremely excited to see this collection after reading up about it last year. The wonderful and bizarre contents inside did not disappoint. To give a little history Sir Henry Wellcome was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and a keen collector of medical artefacts. His collection was first exhibited around the end of the Victorian era. It is now owned by the Wellcome Trust. There is a permanent exhibit as well as temporary ones that change from time to time.
I arrived around 10.25 am and was lucky enough to get a spot on a free guided tour of their semi-new forensics exhibition. It was marvellous. Do yourself a favour and look up Frances Gleaner Lee and her crime scene doll houses. She virtually revolutionised crime scene management using doll house models to teach up-and-coming police men how to look for clues and how to not tamper with evidence. What a remarkable woman. One of the models was on display and the level of detail Ms Lee went to is second to none. For example in the living room of the scene was a newspaper. Although just the front page is on display to the naked eye, each page has been filled out to be as accurate as possible. Continue reading “Wellcome to London”