Thursday, 23 July 2015

Award-winning historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick comes to Trowbridge!

As part of Trowbridge's Magna Carta celebrations, we invited author Elizabeth Chadwick to the Museum to talk about her work and her all-time hero, William Marshal, who became Regent after King John's death.
Elizabeth visited our "Magna Carta- Game of Barons" exhibition and signed books for her fans after giving her first ever PowerPoint presentation. Well done, Ms Chadwick; we loved having you and look forward to seeing you again the next time you're in the area.

Almost done...

Trowbridge Museum's Magna Carta-Game of Barons exhibition will be taken down after Saturday 25th July to make way for WEFT15, The West of England Festival of Textiles.
But there's no need to be sad, because...
...we are still adding to some of the medieval displays. Newly arrived is an impressive chainmail hauberk, on display opposite the Shop, shortly to be followed by a "gambeson" or padded jacket, which a knight would have worn beneath his chainmail.

You can also see a crossbow, short-handled battle-axe, dagger and flanged mace, and discover how these would have been used in medieval warfare.
We are hoping to continue borrowing the magnificent maquette of Henry de Bohun from Canterbury Museums...negotiations are in progress so watch this space.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Horrible Histories, the Magna Carta song

If you haven't seen it yet, you MUST pop over to YouTube to see this delightful Horrible Histories take on Magna Carta and its importance through history.
Lego King John, on display as part of Trowbridge Museum's Magna Carta-Game of Barons exhibition
Magna Carta song

Magna Carta Festival Archery day at Trowbridge Museum

On June 6th 10.30-1.00 and 2.00-3.30, Richard and Philip Head, Master Bowyers (and Fletchers) will be demonstrating at Trowbridge Museum. A bowyer makes bows and a fletcher, arrows. These ancient skills have been resurrected to make weapons for use in films, TV, museums, live action role-play (LARP) and re-enactment as well as archery competitions and sporting events.
Richard Head in his workshop, holding a strung longbow he has crafted
Philip Head, receiving his silver award. He will be at Trowbridge Museum on June 6th as part of our Magna Carta festival

Richard Head in Tudor costume pulling one of his longbows

To find out more about the craft of making longbows and arrows, or to view the online shop, visit

Cooking up a Medieval Magna Carta Treat- for the radio?

On May 28th, BBC Wiltshire Radio came to the Assistant Curator's home to record the cooking of a medieval feast.
Katherine made sure to choose recipes that reflected the different classes of society, and also ones which made bubbling, grinding and grating noises. Well, it was for radio.

Tart in Ember day, gingerbread, sugared rose petals and other medieval delights

Museum Manager Hannah Lyddy produced gingerbread (made without baking and including a fair dash of white pepper), frumenty (using cracked wheat) and hypocras or spiced wine, given a bit of heat by the rare spice galangal.
Katherine produced a type of flan that would have been acceptable on a fast day, a green omelette and a seriously rich liver pate called "garbage". Rose petals were prepared for preserving by dusting them with egg white and pounded sugar, a very expensive item in the Middle Ages, at the time of Magna Carta.
Everything was declared very tasty by Marie from BBC Wiltshire.
The proud cooks and their interviewer Marie
The interview will be broadcast during the main week of Magna Carta celebrations, focused around June 15th 2015.

The Barons' occupation of London- a turning point

On May 12th a delegation of Trowbridge dignitaries were invited by London's Lord Mayor to the Mansion House to commemorate a significant event which ultimately brought about the creation of Magna Carta. In 1215, the barons who had risen up in rebellion against King John's rapacious and unjust behaviour took over London. A king could not rule without control of the most important city in the country and John was eventually forced to sue for peace. Magna Carta was essentially a peace treaty, sealed less than a month after the taking of London.
Representatives from Trowbridge at the Mansion House, London, flying the arms of Magna Carta baron Henry de Bohun

Friday, 1 May 2015

Win a book as part of Trowbridge Museum's Magna Carta events!

Win a signed copy of one of Elizabeth Chadwick's novels set in the medieval period! Just visit our FREE! Magna Carta- Game of Barons exhibition and fill out our questionnaire in order to be entered into the prize draw.
Children can enter too, and will win a mystery book! Just make sure you put your contact details on your sheet and hand it in at the Museum Shop.