What do we do?
The Friends of Ludlow Museum provide financial support to educational projects for school children, at the Buttercross Museum and the Collections Centre (formerly known as the Resource Centre), and in their schools.
The Friends assist in the purchase of artefacts and funding professional conservation of the collections. We also take an active role in volunteering, undertaking various projects with professional guidance.
Between September and April, a programme of lectures covering a wide range of topics is held on the third Monday of the month at the Collections Centre, starting at 7.30pm.
Click on the links at the top of the page to find out more . . .
The historic Buttercross is access is either by the narrow staircase off the pedestrianised Church Street or by the lift located within the open space on the ground floor. It is now open regularly, 3 days a week 10.00-16.00 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday; special arrangements apply on Bank Holidays)
For further information on the Buttercross Museum, click here.
Through volunteer work and fundraising the Friends provide help to the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre located in Parkway, under the same roof as the library.
The Collections Centre is where the collections are looked after and stored. They are held in climate-controlled stores and include fossils of international importance and biological material of national note, as well as social history collections relating directly to the county of Shropshire and to Ludlow town.
The Friends take an active role in encouraging volunteers to assist in the Shropshire Museums Resource Centre. Individuals undertake a variety of projects with professional guidance. These can range from cataloguing the collections through conservation and research, depending upon skills and availability.
The arrangements for volunteering have been revised following restructuring of the Museums Service staff in 2015 in order to ensure safe working practices whilst in the Resource Centre and to ensure availability of relevant staff.
Current vacancies for volunteers
Helping to mainain access to the collections
Photograph specimens: We’re looking for individuals with an interest in digital photography to take images of geological specimens using a digital SLR camera. The images will form a part of the catalogue records and will be made accessible to the public through various websites including Discover Shropshire’s History. You do not need to be a photographer as full training on how to use photographic equipment will be given. We will also be using 3D imaging techniques to capture the more interesting and important specimens. So, if you have an interest in 3D digital processes we would love to hear from you.
Manipulate Images: The digital images taken require basic cropping and resizing. Some will need more extensive alteration and manipulation using photoshop to make them suitable for display on the web or for use in exhibitions. We are therefore looking for volunteers to help with this process.
Research Collectors & Collections: many specimens are geologically interesting or have been collected by important geologists. We require help with the research into these to help us build a better picture of the collections and the stories that lie behind them.
Catalogue Specimens: this involves computer work, recording information from paper records and physical specimens onto the collection database. This will form the basis of material that will go online that will help to provide remote access to our collections.
Scope the Collection: we need individuals to help us with the initial inventory of the whole collection, recording basic information from the contents of the bays in the Geology Store. This task involves assisting the Consultant team in recording information on computers.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact:
enquiries.fossilsinshropshire @ gmail.com
For more information on the project visit:-www.fishproject2020.wix.com/news
Assisting the purchase of artefacts
The Friends of Ludlow Museum have and continue to assist in the purchase of artefacts and funding professional conservation of the collections.
The gold ring in the photograph is an example of such an acquisition, assisted by the Friends.
This ring, some 30 mm across, dates from the period AD 410 to 750.
It was discovered in 2012 by a metal detectorist in South Shropshire. We are not sure what the ring was used for; it is too large to be worn on the finger. Instead it might have been used as a toggle on clothing or possibly a pommel of a sword.
The ring has been described by experts as “the only prestige piece of Britonnic Dark Age metalwork to have been found in the county”.
The old mill at the bottom of Old Street, Ludlow.
This charming painting of the old mill at the bottom of Old Street, Ludlow, close to the junction with Temeside, is dated Nov 1813 (on a stone, bottom left). The Friends of Ludlow Museum have purchased it for the Collection and plans are for it to go on display in an exhibition of paintings owned by the Museum Service. There is a Thomas Telford plan showing the mill, which confirms its location.
The painting shows a yard, pigsty, stable and the mill. The river is to the right, behind the willow trees.
Unfortunately, the artist is not currently known but further research is being undertaken.
The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll of 1576.
In the late 16th Century Sir Henry Sidney, Lord President of the Council of Wales and the Marches, set up a collection of the coats of arms of a number of people of significance associated with the castle. They were displayed in the chapel of St Mary Magdalene in the inner bailey. As well as including all the current members of the Council, he included the arms of past owners from Walter de Lacy in the 11th Century down to Queen Elizabeth I.
The Council had been set up originally by Edward IV to support his young son Edward who was Prince of Wales. Sir Henry included the arms of all the previous Lord Presidents down to his own time.
A few years later, Sir Henry decided to create a permanent record of these shields. They were copied onto a long roll, made of pieces of parchment, and each one was labelled. Although the original shields are long gone, the roll has survived. The Friends first became aware of the existence of this important document in 2015 and learnt that it was for sale privately. A committee was formed to secure it for Ludlow and to make arrangements for its display and future use. Early in 2017, the Friends of Ludlow Museum agreed to become official owners of the roll and to take responsibility for its future.
The roll is 15 feet long but just 4 inches wide. Although it is faded in places and rodents have damaged it, it is still in remarkably good condition with bright colours and readable text. Because it is quite fragile, it can't be displayed permanently in Ludlow, so the plan is to create high-quality facsimiles.
The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll Appeal has been launched to raise funds to purchase the roll, create the facsimiles, display a copy permanently in Ludlow and use another for educational work. The Mortimer History Society is already running a summer programme in local primary schools which involves a history day at Ludlow castle. The roll will fit neatly into the heraldry section of that programme.
Early 2020 has seen an exhibition of the Heraldic Role in the foyer of the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre, below the entrance to the Library in Ludlow. Click here for the details.
We are also keen to undertake conservation work on the roll and to create a series of booklets suitable for a range of age and interest levels. Our target is £20,000 and we'll be grateful for your support. Please send contributions to our treasurer, Tony Mahalski, 9 Mill Street, Ludlow SY8 1AZ.