The Leatherhead Museum welcomes visitors back this spring with six rooms of new exhibits, old favourites and a program of activities, community events and collaborations.
While closed for the winter months, the Leatherhead Museum at Hampton Cottage has undergone a radical refit. The volunteer curatorial and maintenance teams have worked hard to carry out Phase One of the 2023 Curatorial Plan, with further updating projects scheduled for later in the year.
The most exciting new exhibit this year is JANE AUSTEN’S LEATHERHEAD, an exploration of the evidence that our town was the inspiration for the village of Highbury in Austen’s EMMA. Created by local artists LUCY QUINNELL (Fire & Iron Gallery) and CATHY BRETT (Curator of Leatherhead Museum) this a mixture of thorough research, maps, costumes, artworks and quotes, and is a ‘must see’ for any Jane Austen or Georgian/Regency history fan.
Elsewhere in the museum you’ll find plenty more new additions including The Interactive Cottage Kitchen, ‘Made In Leatherhead’, The River Room Archaeology Timeline and temporary art exhibitions throughout the year in the revamped Gallery.
All the most valuable artefacts in our collection were treated to a proper conservation clean over the winter and many have been remounted and labelled. You can now learn about the amazing Roman jewellery and pottery items on display, with fascinating scale models of the Ashtead Roman Villa, where many of our artefacts were found.
We have notable Saxon finds from local burial sites, too, including swords, jewellery and the beautifully decorated Saxon ritual Bucket with bronze details, discovered near Fetcham Mill Pond.
The museum remains free to visit and run entirely by volunteers who will not only guide you through the collections and answer your queries, but will be running activities every weekend too. Join us for ‘Writing with a Goose Quill Nib’ or ‘Decorating a Roman Tile’. There’s also a fun ‘Archaeological Dig’ Sand Pit in the garden and lots of new books and gift ideas in the Museum Shop.
See Museum News for upcoming exhibitions.