Marton Museum of Country Bygones is now open for the summer, every Sunday afternoon until 13 September from 2.00pm until 4.00pm. Admission is free but all donations gratefully received. We look forward to seeing you there. We would also like to see you at Birdingbury Show on 11 & 12 July where we will have a stall inside the marquee, so no problem if it’s raining!
This month’s meeting consisted of a guided walk around Warwick, ably led, as usual, by Mike Johnson (pictured on the right of the group photo). There are no more Group meetings until the new season starts at the end of October.
Mike devised the route for the group walk around some of the highlights of Warwick’s old centre, and there are many leaflets available from the tourist office which provide plenty of information about Warwick’s walk opportunities and the historical background of what you will see en route. This article adds some of Mike’s insights to these existing publications.
At the corner of Castle Street and Castle Lane is a section of cobbled road leading into what is now the castle grounds wall. Many centuries ago this was part of the main road into town when the old bridge was in use; the old bridge crossed the river near the western end of Mill Street and the road continued straight through to Castle Street from there. The grounds of the castle were extended eastwards after the new bridge was built in 1785, to butt up against Castle Hill.
The Great Fire of 1694, which started in High Street and spread up Market Street and Castle Street, caused great damage to St Mary’s church. Following the fire new construction rules were brought in about the design of houses and the minimum width of roads. Half-timbered and jetted houses were no longer allowed and houses could be no more than two stories high – although an exemption seems to have been given at what was then the main central cross-roads where High Street and Castle Street meet as three story buildings surround this point.
The old town wall can be seen from Puckering’s Lane, as it heads North West from West Gate and then around the back of Lord Leycester Hospital.
Today The Holloway is a dead-end street but historically it ran all the way to Saltisford having been cut into the rock along this route. At one time this old road passed under an iron bridge (built 1804) which connected market Place to Theatre Street.
On the corner of Barrack Street and Northgate Street is an old cell door which belonged to the prison on this site when it was badly damaged by the Great Fire. In a courtyard off Northgate Street in the old County Court buildings can be seen a grill which is in the roof of an octagonal dungeon below. This dungeon was built in 1680 and was in regular use until 1797.
This month the Group had its AGM followed by a talk by Biddy Allen (photo, left) on the old Marton Co-Op store. Biddy (and Roy) were the first people to move into what was once the “Old Co-op”. The talk was very well received and a summary is at this link.
There are no more Group meetings in the village hall until next October. However, the Group are having a walk around Historic Warwick led by Mike Johnson on Monday 18th May, meeting at St Nicholas car-park at 6:45 pm.
More information on the Marton Pig Club can be found if you follow this link.
This month the Group had a talk by Joe Paget (pictured with a photo of his great grandfather William Hands) about the history of the Hands family who were Marton blacksmiths. The talk generated a great deal of interest and a very brief summary of the presentation is at this link.
The next Group meeting is the AGM and is on Monday April 27th 7.30pm in the village hall. This will be followed by a talk by Biddy Allen on the old Marton Co-Op store. Entrance to the AGM, including a glass of wine, is free.
Many of you will remember seeing Faye’s wonderful exhibition “Children Then And Now: Marton Museum Reinterpreted by Artist Faye Claridge” which took place as part of The Marton Rural Traditions Festival held in tandem with the The Heritage Open Days event at Marton Museum last September. Faye photographed village children with artefacts from the Museum to create a contrast with a similar project carried out in the nineteenth century by Benjamin Stone who was recording dying country traditions and whose collection is held in the Library of Birmingham. Some of Faye’s photographs have now moved to the Library of Birmingham, together with some of the artefacts from the Museum and can be seen on Floor 2 until 31 May 2015. More of the pictures are also exhibited at Compton Verney, where Faye has created a stunning 5-metre corn dolly “The Kern Baby” which can be seen in the Capability Brown grounds until December. Next May this will tour to the Library of Birmingham to link with the Benjamin Stone Collection that inspired Faye, alongside a larger exhibition of her photographs from Marton, prior to a high profile exhibition in London. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund the photographs will also form part of Marton Museum’s permanent collection. A display at the Library of Birmingham currently tells Kern Baby’s story ahead of the sculpture touring there next year.
The project has been a great success in raising the profile of our Museum and creating innovative ways for families to access the collection. Faye’s work is increasingly in demand, being discussed at conferences and requested for exhibitions, so we’re hoping interest in the Museum will grow even further as a result.
You are strongly recommended to visit Birmingham Library and Compton Verney to see Faye’s work for yourselves. Both destinations are well worth a trip in their own rights if you haven’t already been.
St Esprit Church also has its own facebook page: www.facebook.com/StEspritMarton
Do find us and follow us!
Marton’s Parish Plan was published in April 2009 and was distributed around the village at that time. If you have recently arrived in the village please contact a Parish Councilor for a copy. It is available online at the Rugby Borough Council site.
There has been a lot happening in Marton this September, so it is just as well that the weather has prolonged the summer to suit the outdoor activities. It all started on the first weekend with the Scarecrow Trail, based on the product of two workshops run by Sarah Coe. The village had scarecrows on almost every corner which made for a spooky site come dusk. In the afternoon the MPFA had organised rounders gameson the playing fields accompanied by a bar and barbecue refreshments.
Please follow this link to download the Marton Emergency Plan.