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Bps Stortford 1939-45
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The Town Mural

mural

Within the new museum hangs the town mural, a work of art 28ft (8.4m) long by 5ft (1.5m) wide that depicts the history of Bishop’s Stortford from the beginning of time up until 1990. The project was sponsored by Sally Howard-Smith, a former mayor of the town, and supervised by Leila Riddell, a founder of the Embroiderers Guild.

Composed of seven panels it was worked by 142 townspeople, including members of the Embroiderers Guild, the Townswomen’s Guild, members of church groups in Bishop’s Stortford and Little Hallingbury, local school children and many other needle workers who were personal friends of the designer and sponsor. The mural is worked on canvas stitched in fine crewell wool and the buildings and figures, worked individually, were then applied onto the background.

In 1992 the mural went ‘on tour’ to Alexandra Palace in London and Harrogate in Yorkshire, and was selected by Thomasinia Beck (well known art and embroidery historian) as representative of 20th century needlework. In 1997 it was the subject of two articles by Sally Howard-Smith in Needle Arts, the magazine of the Embroiderer Guild of America.

An informative book on how the mural was made, and a key to what is featured, is available from the museum. View detailed images of the mural at: www.bishopsstortford.org/mural.htm

Bishop’s Stortford Museum

MuseumSouth Road
Bishop’s Stortford
Herts CM23 3JG
Telephone 01279 651746
Fax 01279 467171

After an 18 month closure for refurbishment, the new Bishop’s Stortford Museum and Rhodes Arts Complex was officially opened on Friday 11 November 2005. A plaque to mark the occasion was unveiled by Guest of honour Sir Colin Lucas, warden of the Rhodes Trust from Oxford. Admission to the general public took place 15 November 2005. The museum provides displays and activities for a range of visitors from schools and families to tourists or researchers; there is something for everyone.

Interior viewsTen new permanent galleries are accompanied by an education room and a spacious temporary exhibition gallery, where it will be possible to view paintings, drawings and sculptures, in-house museum shows using the reserve collection and the Bishop’s Stortford Open Art Exhibition. The permanent galleries on the first and second floors take visitors from imperial Africa to Roman Bishop’s Stortford. Displays of previously unseen objects and photographs open up the town’s history and reveal a past full of hidden treasures.

The first floor invites you into a Victorian Drawing Room where you will be able to see ladies costumes or have a go at turning a 19th century mangle. And the sound of drums will draw you into a world of wooden sculptures, intricate beadwork and Maasai spears as you follow the journey of Victorian explorers into Africa.

On the second floor Titus, our Roman skeleton will greet you as you discover the ancient history of Bishop’s Stortford. Neolithic axe heads and Roman coins bring the town’s early settlement to life whilst the Great Seal of Bishop’s Stortford, on loan from the British Museum, will help you find out how the town got its name in the 16th century.

Look at the Thorley stocks, find out about the coming of the railway and learn how the famous ‘Gilbeys Gin’ started life in our region. Computer touch screens, quizzes, interactive games and costumes to try will all help your visit come to life.

Bishop’s Stortford Museum is housed within ‘Rhodes House’, the listed buildings where Cecil Rhodes, Victorian empire builder, was born and raised until he travelled to Africa at the age of seventeen. He went on to become Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and founder of De Beers mining company after annexing African land in the name of the British Empire.

To find out more about the new museum and its amazing collection please call: 01279 651746

Interior views

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SOUTH ROAD KING'S COTTAGES HAVERS BOWLS CLUB RHODES CENTRE CECIL RHODES
FOUNDING OF RHODESIA MUSIC ERA AT RHODES TOWN MURAL BISHOP'S STORTFORD MUSEUM
SOUTH STREET MALTINGS (LOWER) SOUTH STREET - EAST (LOWER) SOUTH STREET - WEST
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH NEW PATH HOLY TRINITY CHURCH HALL WORKING MEN'S CLUB
POST OFFICE MAIL BOXES (LOWER) SOUTH STREET

Website by Chris Ailey: chris@cpa-design.co.uk copyright© Paul Ailey 2004