Epping Forest District Museum reopening date confirmed!

image.jpgAfter a two year long Heritage Lottery Funded project, the reopening of Epping Forest District Museum is on the horizon. The museum would like to welcome members of the public to the museum on Saturday 19 March 2016 from 10am to 5pm to see the fantastic improvements and changes that have taken place on site.

With a new community room for schools, groups and activities, a lift making all galleries accessible to the public for the first time and the chance to see behind the scenes the museum will be a unique offer to both local people and the wider community.

The museum team are now in the process of reinstalling the objects in the six new galleries ready for the reopening in March, with a much greater number of objects going on display than ever before.

Church Street, Waltham Abbey

Here is a gallery of some of the images in the Museum’s collection of Church Street in Waltham Abbey.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey and the District at efdhistory.org.uk

2016 the 950th Anniversary of important King Harold dates

untitled

2016 is the 950th anniversary of King Harold’s Coronation, the three great battles of 1066 and Harold’s death.

There will be many events over the next year to celebrate and commemorate these events. The first event of the celebrations at Waltham Abbey is on Wednesday 6th January when King Harold’s coronation will be marked with a service of Compline in the Abbey Church at 5.00 pm.

To find out more visit: https://kingharoldday.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/compline-for-a-coronation/

Merry Christmas to all

We would like to wish all our followers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting us while we have been closed for our big Heritage Lottery Funded Redevelopment project. Keep an eye on our blog and social media pages in the new year for some exciting updates on the reopening of the museum!

Here is a selection of wintery images from the museum’s Octavius Dixie Deacon collection.

Deacon was born at Bow in 1836 and later moved to Goldings Park Road (now Goldings Road), Loughton in 1874.

Sun Street, Waltham Abbey

Here is a gallery of some of the images in the Museum’s collection of Sun Street in Waltham Abbey.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey and the District at efdhistory.org.uk

Waltham Abbey Shops and Trades

Below is a small gallery of images of old shops and trades in Waltham Abbey.

Find more images of Waltham Abbey at efdhistory.org.uk

Update on the Museum redevelopment project

Since our last update lots of changes have happened at the museum site. The majority of the building works are now complete and the project is on to the furnishing and decorating stage.

A key milestone in the last month or so is the installation of the lift. A big part of the museum project, the lift now makes the museum fully accessible throughout.

The new spaces are also taking shape with the education/community room, temporary exhibition gallery and core gallery ready for decoration and furnishing.

The project is progressing well and still on track for a Spring 2016 opening.

Sneak Peak: Objects going into the Museum’s new archaeology display

Catherine Hammond, the museum’s Education and Outreach Officer, has been busy at the stores selecting objects for the Archaeology display in the new museum which is due to reopen early 2016.

‘I’ve been trying to find objects from all different periods of history and from different locations around the District. My aim is to show how long people have lived and worked all over this area.

As you go through box after box, taking photos, checking lists and making sure everything is recorded properly, it can be easy to forget what an incredible amount of history has passed through your hands. Its only now looking back through all my photos of potential objects I realise I took a journey through 5000 years worth of history in about 7 hours! One of the most exciting objects I found was this Neolithic bowl from Waltham Abbey. It is around 5000 years old and hasn’t been on display since it was sent away for conservation work.

Neolithic Bowl

Neolithic Bowl

Sometimes an object gives a direct link with the past when it shows what we have in common with people who lived here over 1500 years ago. These Roman tweezers used by a Roman lady to tidy her brows have hardly changed from ones we might use today.

Tweezers

Tweezers

As a horse lover, I can’t resist including something horse related, but I didn’t expect to find this ornament, made from a horse’s tooth! It dates from Saxon times and was found near Nazeingbury.

Horse Tooth

Horse Tooth

Sadly, some objects have no information with them so we have no way of knowing how old they might be or where they were found. This Axe Head is one such mystery object, but such a good one I’m tempted to include it.

Axe Head

Axe Head

My favourite find of the day had to be this Giant Mug, found in York Hill, Loughton. I happened to look in an unusual shaped box and was delighted to uncover this. After a day spent sorting over 150 objects from over 5000 years worth of history, I wished I had a mug as big as this for a cup of tea.’

Giant Mug

Giant Mug

Sporting Heritage in the Epping Forest District

Today is #sportingheritage day and we are encouraging people to share their memories and photos of sports with us via Facebook and Twitter. The best one will win a goodie bag!

The district has many connections with sport from the cycling history to the more recent Tour de France and much more.

Below is a gallery of images from the Museum’s collection showing sports in the district – why not share your memories with us?

 

 

Artwork of the month – John Varley

John Varley

John Varley

John Varley was a British artist born in London in 1778. He was an English landscape painter mainly working in watercolour.

Varley was working at a time of transition and his work shows the transition from tinted drawing to the more fluid and bolder watercolour painting that took hold in the 19th century.

In 1798 he exhibited a highly regarded sketch of  Peterborough Cathedral at the Royal Academy  and became a regular exhibitor at the RA. In 1805 the Old Watercolour Society (OWS) was founded and as a founding member of the OWS Varley exhibited over 700 drawings there.

As well as being an artist, Valey was a teacher with pupils including Copley Fielding, David Cox, John Linnell and William Turner (artist) of Oxford.

He died in London in 1842.

Varley’s work is represented in many major museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum.

John Varley
This image, part of Epping Forest District Museum’s collection, is one of a number of studies of the church made by the artist, showing the path along the south side of the church.