Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Closure

We will be closed from 12noon Friday 23 December to 10am Wednesday 28 December.

We will also be closed from 5pm on Friday 30 December to 10am Tuesday 3 January.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Additional Stonehenge lecture

Disappointed to miss David Field's lecture The Stonehenge Landscape Project: recent analytical survey and investigation in the World Heritage Site? Good news - he will be giving the lecture again on 10 March 2012. Book on-line now to reserve your ticket ...

Holiday Activities for Children

Looking for something to do before Christmas. Why not come to one of our Christmas themed holiday activities - Wintery Crafts on Tuesday 20 December or a Victorian Christmas on Wednesday 21 December.

Two sessions per day and cost just £3.50.

St Francis of Assisi and the First Christmas

A lunchtime talk by Vanessa Cash of the University of Bristol.

Bring your lunch - we'll provide mince pies and tea/coffee! £2.50. Pre-booking not required.

Lunchtime talks start at 1.10pm and last about 45 minutes.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Village Church Music and Musicians

Lecture on 26 November at 2.30pm. By Dr Alan Dodge Village Church Music and Musicians in 18th Century Wessex will describe the old tradition in which groups of male singers sang in churches from special galleries. The singers were often accompanied by instruments such as cellos, violins and clarinets and a number of local musicians composed their own psalms and settings.

For more information and to book tickets visit the website.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday - late opening

We will be opening at 12.30pm on Sunday 13 November to allow staff and volunteers to participate in local Remembrance Day commemorations. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please note - Devizes Market Place and Long Street will be closed from approx. 10.30am until after noon for the Remembrance Sunday parade.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Wiltshire's Agrarian History - Sat 12 Nov

A lecture looking at Wiltshire's place in the agrarian history of England by Professor John Chartres - 12 November 2.30pm.

Agriculture in Wiltshire was vastly more important in the past, socially and economically, than it now is, but we still have a lot of countryside in the county. Professor Kerridge and Dr Thirsk have identified different distinctive ‘farming countries’ in England, based on geology and climatology and distance from the London market, besides other considerations. We all know about ‘chalk and cheese’. Professor Chartres will set the agricultural history of Wiltshire in a national context over time.

Professor John Chartres has recently retired as Professor of Economic History at the University of Leeds. He has written extensively on agriculture and the agrarian economy of England, and on various related subjects such as coaching inns in London and the history of cider. He has long been a leading figure in the British Agricultural History Society, having been its Secretary and its President, as well as Editor of its scholarly journal, the Agricultural History Review.

Saturday afternoon lectures start at 2.30pm and last approx. one hour.
Tickets cost £5 (£3 WANHS members)

The Past is Another Country

New exhibition opens 5 November at Museum.

This exhibition by the Elementals Art Group has been inspired by the prehistory of Wiltshire and is the culmination of a project by six different artists. Using maps, diagrams, artefacts in museums and walks in the landscape they have 're-created' the past in paintings, print-making and mixed media, as well as a twelve verse illustrated poem.

Open until 2 January 2012. Free Entry.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Autumn Sale - 22 October

10am to 2pm. Come along and find an early Christmas present amongst the plants, produce, gifts and books available.

Plus bric-a-brac and tombola. Refreshments will be available.

Open 10am to 2pm.

Donations welcome - please bring along to the Museum on Friday 21 October between 2pm and 5pm.

All funds raised support the work of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society which owns and administers the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and Archive and Library - holding unique collections preserving Wiltshire's history.

Free Entry.

Romans vs Celts Family Day - 30 October

It's AD43 and the Roman armies have invaded Britain. Join us for an action-packed day, and find out how the Celtic Warriors responded to the invasion. Which side will you take?

There will be activities for all the family including Celtic pattern making, mosaics, pottery making, Roman helmet making and an opportunity to meet Roman soldiers and discover their daily routine. There will be a magical Celtic storyteller, face painting and and opportunity to decorate a Roman sword, try on costumes, strike an Iron Age coin, dig for Roman objects and meet a Celt to find out if they were as fearsome as history tells us. The day is free for children, £2 for adults and a small charge for some of the activities, including the Celtic Storyteller.

11am to 4pm.

Half-Term Holiday Activities at Museum

Workshops are being held on three days during the half-term holidays, and taking inspiration from our own collections, there is a different theme for each day.

On Tuesday 25 October children can be inspired by some of the Museum’s oddest objects to make their own Witch Bottle and engraved talisman for protection at Halloween! Mythical Creatures is the theme on Wednesday 26 October and, to celebrate The Big Draw, children will be able to meet a curious creature from the Museum’s own collection and create their own mythical creature. Parents can join in the fun on Thursday 27 October and be Rock Detectives, discovering more about rocks and fossils through a variety of activities.

Two workshops are held each day, starting at 11am and 1.30pm, the morning workshop is suitable for under 7s and the afternoon for ages 8 and over. Both workshops last approx 1½ hours. Cost is £3.50 per child and prior booking is essential - contact the Education Officer, Rebecca Warren on 01380 727369 or e-mail us.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


West Kennet Long Barrow - Investigation and Reconstruction is the title of the AGM lecture to be given by Julian Richards at Devizes Town Hall on Saturday 8 October.

This is the story of one of Wiltshire's most iconic prehistoric monuments, West Kennet Long Barrow, and of its investigation and subsequent restoration during the 1950s. This is also the story of its excavators, Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson, the stars of a pioneering TV documentary - archaeologists who are now almost as iconic as the monument itself. You will never look at West Kennet in the same light again.

Please note, the lecture is open to non-members (cost £5) and is scheduled to start at approximately 4pm. However as this follows the Annual General Meeting of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (start time 2.30pm), the start time may vary to that advertised.

Cost £5 (free for WANHS members). Contact the Museum for tickets.


The beans are in and the dig/field walking in the trench and POW camp areas at Yatesbury is on for this weekend 7/8 Oct.

Meet at the village hall car park 10:00 Saturday and Sunday.

Due to the delay this now coincides with the WANHS AGM and lecture on Saturday 8th and the Downland Walk in memory of Shaun Ogbourne on Sunday 9th. This means that for once there is plenty of choice to suit everyone's tastes.

If you wish you can go to Yatesbury for just a morning or one day or both that will be fine. If you are going please let Dan Miles know by email

Tuesday 11 October - Archive & Library Closed (PM)

Tuesday 11th October - The Archive & Library will be closed from 1pm for staff training. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Our fundraising lecture on Saturday 1 October will now take place at WILTSHIRE HERITAGE MUSEUM at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and there are still some available.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Yatesbury Fieldwork off this weekend

The fieldwork planned for Yatesbury this weekend (24/25 September) has had to be postponed again as it's still not been possible for the farmer to get all the crop in!

The RAF Yatesbury Society has already put some photos on their website: "the dig".

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Early Closing Monday 19th

The Museum will closed at 4.30pm on Monday 19 September (last entry for visitors 4pm). We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Are you aged 16-24? Want to help us plan our new galleries?

Wiltshire Heritage Museum user forum: Young People, aged 16 - 24
What is it all about?
The Wiltshire Heritage Museum is planning to develop completely new and improved ways of presenting its prehistory gallery. This will mean that you, your friends and family are able to enjoy more of what the Museum has to offer. It will also mean that it will interest a wider number of local people as well as visitors to Devizes and the surrounding area.

Why me?
We are asking you to help us with this project for a number of reasons. First of all because you live in the area and know it well. Secondly because your ideas will be very important in making sure that the developments suit your own needs and interests. And thirdly, because we are very keen to involve a wide mix of people.

What do I have to do?
All you will have to do is come along to an initial meeting to be held in late September. Then, later on this year and into next you’ll be invited to a couple of more meetings.
There’s no need to know anything about the Museum before you join us. You’ll be meeting about 7 or 8 other people, discussing what you like and don’t like about the galleries at the moment, and sharing ideas on how things might change. There’ll be stories to think about, and a presentation of how the new exhibitions might look.

What’s in it for me?
As well as sharing your ideas this is a chance to see behind the scenes at the Museum, you’ll be able to look at very rare objects that most people never see. So this is a really special opportunity to find out more about what goes on. There’ll be plenty to eat and drink, maybe see someone you already know, and a chance to get to know some new people. We’ll cover reasonable travel costs and also pay you £7.50 an hour for your time.

When will it be?
The session will be on Wednesday 28 September, between 4.30pm and 6pm. If you can't make this date, but are interested in taking part, then please let us know anyway! We would love to invite you to a second meeting.

Please email email

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Yatesbury WW1 Airfield

Saturday 17 September. Our Archaeology Field Group will be busy here on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. If you would like to get involved contact Jim Gunter on 01793 731974 or

Further information on our AFG page

Monday, 5 September 2011

Archive & Library open 2-4pm 7th September

Please note that the Archive & Library will only be open between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday 7th September 2011. This is due to a shortage of staff. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Archive and Library Closed Saturday 3rd

We regret that the Archive and Library will be closed Saturday 3 September due to staff shortages. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

To search on-line visit our webpages, but if you can't find what you are looking for, please send an e-mail to our Archivist/Librarian, Dr Ellie Pridgeon.

Usual Archive and Library opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. The Archive and Library is also open, by appointment only, on the first Saturday of the month.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Devizes Camera Club exhibition opens

The biennial print exhibition by members of Devizes Camera Club opened at the Museum on Sunday 4 September and runs until 2 October.

23 members of the Club entered a total of 87 prints this year, covering a great variety of subject matter. It is not possible to exhibit all of them, but over 60 will be shown, with at least one work per member who entered.

Two trophies are awarded - the Derek Parker Plaque and Leaze Cottage Trophy - the competition having been judged by Colin Harrison FRPS EFIAP MFIAP MPAGB. The results will be announced at the Official Opening on Sunday 4 September 2011 at 2.30pm. The Exhibition will be opened by the Mayor of Devizes, Cllr Mrs Sue Evans. All members, friends and families are welcome to attend the Opening to see the wide range of work on display and to find out who won the trophies.

This year there will also be a display of photographs taken by photographers from Tornio, Finland, the twin town of Devizes. This Exhibition is called 'Life on the Border' and is a commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the Swedish-Finnish border.

In addition members of Devizes Camera Club have prepared a collection of cameras and photographic equipment to show the development of photography over the years. Starting with pin hole photography and moving through various stages of film cameras and early digital cameras to the very latest in digital technology.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Old Films to be shown at Museum

Two films from the late 1960s featuring Devizes will be shown at the Museum on Bank Holiday Monday by Devizes Video and Cine Club.

The Films 'The Heart of Devizes’ (1969) and ‘Devizes Carnival 1968’ will be shown throughout the day using a standard 8 cine projector.

The showings, which lasts less than an hour, will commence at 11am, 12noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, and entry is FREE. Pre-booking is not necessary.

The Museum will be open 10am to 5pm and entry is FREE today - so come along see the films and take the opportunity to see the Landscapes of Wessex exhibition which ends today.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Devizes Gazettes

The Devizes Gazettes are no longer held at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum. The Museum is planning to purchase microfilm copies in the near future. In the meantime, readers can access the Gazettes at Devizes Library or the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Devizes Family Town Trail

Download this fun Family Trail and explore Devizes! When you have completed the trail, you can collect your free reward from the Museum! Developed by the Trust for Devizes and the Wiltshire Heritage Museum,

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Archive & Library closed (AM) Friday 29th July 2011

Due to a shortage of staff, the Archive & Library will be closed on the morning of Friday 29th July 2011. It will re-opn at 2pm. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Summer holiday activities for children

Come rain or shine holiday activities are being held throughout the summer at the Museum. From prehistoric art and animals to arty adventures there is something for everyone:
26 and 27 July - Prehistoric Art and Animals
Step back in time and find out why animals were the prehistoric artists favourite
subject as you experiment with cave art, pottery, figurines and beads.
2 and 3 August - Ancient Myths, Gods and Goddesses
Encounter heroes, monsters, spells and legends from Ancient Greece, Egypt and the
Norselands and create incredible treasures and talismans to protect you on your adventures.
9 and 11 August - Invaders and Raiders
Join us for a voyage with the Vikings and make runes, coins, helmets and jewellry while discovering more about these fearsome invaders.
16 and 17 August - Arty Adventures
Be inspired by the Museum’s collections and create your own art works using felting,
fabric printing, mosaic making and other creative techniques.
23 and 24 August - All About Archaeology
To celebrate the BBC’s Hands on History, join us and learn what it’s like
to be an archaeologist through messy activities.

Activities cost £3 per session and are held twice daily - 11am-12.30pm for under 7s and 1.30pm-3pm for ages 8 and over. Please note we ask that all children under 8 are accompanied throughout the session. We reserve the right to cancel an activity at short notice if insufficient places are taken up.

For further details visit the website or contact

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Archive & Library Closure

The Archive & Library will be closed on Wednesday July 27th 2011 due to staff shortage. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, 8 July 2011

WW1 Exhibition extended to 17 July!

The Devizes District Great War exhibition has been extended for a week, and will now close on Sunday 17 July. Find out more from our website.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Volunteers Needed - Archive & Library

We are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join our team in the Archive & Library on Fridays (mornings / afternoons - or both). If you are interested, then please email (or phone) the Archivist & Librarian:

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Devizes District Great War

A fascinating and thought-provoking exhibition telling the story of some of the soldiers from Devizes and surrounding villages who died during the First World War. The exhibition is only open until 10 July - so don't delay.

More information is available in our What's On section.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Archive & Library Closed - Thursday 23rd June 2011

The Archive & Library will be closed on Thursday 23rd June (due to a shortage of staff). We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Wiltshire Council Rates - good news!

In an interview on BBC Radio Wiltshire, John Brady, the Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, generously offered to increase our grant to cover the change in rates. This is fantastic news for us!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Newspaper report - "Devizes Museum Bill Shock"

The Gazette and Herald have published a story about the cessation of the 100% rates relief that has been given to us by Wiltshire Council. We have been informed that we will have 80% rates relief, and that we would then face a bill of £4,500 this year, equivalent to 12% of our grant from Wiltshire Council.

This is clearly a serious issue for us, but Stuart Wheeler, the Cabinet Member for Culture, and staff from Wiltshire Council are working hard to see if the situation can be resolved. We are very grateful to them for their help.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Audience Development Consultant

We are advertising for a consultant to help us develop our HLF-funded project. Full details are online.

900 Years of Wiltshire Churches - Display of Archive & Library Material

There is currently a small display of photographs, books and documents from the Archive & Library relating to churches in Wiltshire (c.1000-c.1900). The display is to coincide with the lecture series currently being delivered at the Museum by Dr Ellie Pridgeon (Archivist & Librarian). Please visit the Museum's Long Room.

Archive & Library - ID

Archive & Library: Membership Cards and ID

From May 2011, visitors to the Archive & Library will need to show ID before consulting items in the collection. This security measure brings the Archive & Library into line with Wiltshire Heritage Museum practice, and ensures we can track document and book usage.
Members will need to bring their membership card, and non-members will need to show ID with a current address. For example:

Driving licence
Recent official bill / invoice
Recent bank statement

For further information, please refer to the website:
or email the Archivist & Librarian:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The Museum will be OPEN Saturday 23 April (10am to 5pm), Easter Sunday and Easter Monday noon to 4pm. We will be closed on Good Friday (22 April).

Friday, 15 April 2011

Vacancy - Project Officer

Following the award of Stage 1 funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we will be advertising for a small number of contracts and posts.http:

The first is for a Project Officer, who will maintain existing museum services during an extremely bus time for the Museum. The deadline for applications is 10am Tuesday 10 May, with interviews on 17 May.

For more details, please see the - job description and application form.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Castle Elusive exhibition at Calne Heritage Centre

Find out about the Castle Elusive exhibition now on at Calne Heritage Centre. A newsletter all about the exhibition is now online.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Archive & Library Closed - April 7th

The Archive & Library will be closed on Thursday April 7th for staff training. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Oexmann Prizewinners

Congratulations to the prizewinners in the Oexmann Art Award Competition:

FIRST PRIZE - Tim Carroll – Birds Nest
SECOND PRIZE - Beryl Bradley - Porthleven
PURCHASE PRIZE - David Miell – Bear Hotel

FIRST PRIZE - Isabella Hay (St Mary’s School, Calne) – Fletcher
SECOND PRIZE - Amy Keily – Pumpkin
3D PRIZE - Caitlin Etherton (St Johns School, Marlborough) – Giant Cupcake

Andrea Bieda (Art Club, John of Gaunt) - Untitled
Daniel Collins - Platform at Salisbury Railway Station
Gloria Fong (Stonar School, Atworth) - Portrait of my Sister
Toby Hillcoat-Searle - Joey the Cat Asleep

FIRST PRIZE - Jorin Beaumont (Holy Trinity School, Calne) – Sparrow Hawk
SECOND PRIZE - Emily Burns (Holy Trinity School, Calne) – Ladybird
THIRD PRIZE - Rowan Whitehead (Holy Trinity, Calne) – Seaside Feast
PRINT/DRAWING PRIZE - Ashton Hibbert (Nursteed Primary School, Devizes) – Wishing Owl
CLASS PRIZE - Nursteed School, Devizes. Class – Year 5 (Jupiter)
3D PRIZE - Martha Stringer (Corsham Primary School) – Chameleon
Amy Benfield (Nursteed CP School, Devizes) - Winter Trees
Luke Bessell (Corsham Primary School) - Scarlet Macaw
Daisy Borley-Evans (Holy Trinity School, Calne) - Jellyfish
Isabella Bradley-Leach - Pheasant
Anna Coulson (Nursteed CP School, Devizes) - Self-Portrait
Joe Denmar (Mere School) - Early Morning
Ella Firmstone (Heywood Prep School, Corsham) - Me
Eleanor Higham - Dinosaur World
Elena Hugo (St Paul’s Primary, Chippenham) - Countryside
Jessica Litherland (The Mill School, Potterne) - Joy to the World
Oscar Mercer (Woodford Valley Primary School) - Impression of a
London Landscape

Freya Paget (Nursteed CP School, Devizes) - Wishing Owl 2
Jay Parker-Miles (Nursteed School, Devizes) - The Street
Liam Shepherd (Rowdeford School, Rowde) – Pink Fish
Joseph Shrimpton (Sutton Veny Primary School) - Westbury White Horse
Haydn Williams (Fynamore Primary School, Calne) - Stonehenge

Many other entries have been selected for the exhibition. Each entrant will be contacted individually with details.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Archive & Library: Saturday opening in 2011

The Archive & Library is to re-open on the 1st Saturday of every month from April 2011. The first day will be: Saturday April 2nd. Please make an appointment with the Archivist & Librarian ( if you wish to use the collection that day.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Vacancy - Education and Outreach Officer (Maternity Leave)

Fantastic opportunity to work with us as Education and Outreach Officer. Our current post-holder will be going on Maternity Leave in May, and we are looking for someone to work on a flexible basis, possibly as part of a job-share. The Job Description and application form are online. Closing date - 3pm on March 11. Find out more about our Education Service from our website.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Family Day: Ancient Briton's

On Sunday 27 February we have one of our popular Family Days - this time themed to coincide with the BBC's 'A History of Ancient Britain' series. Come along and learn more about Ancient Briton's between 11am and 4pm. Cost £2 adults, children free.

Half-term Holiday Activities

Looking for something for the children this half-term? Then book on one of our art and craft activities. Prior booking is required for these holiday activities - e-mail to book a place.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Entries are invited for our biennial art competition, which is open to everyone born or living in Wiltshire. Cash prizes will be awarded in three categories - over 18s, 12 to 18 and 6 to 11. Pictures will be judged by three eminent artists - Mitch Griffiths, David Inshaw and John Wragg. Winning entries, together with the best of the rest, will be displayed in our Art Gallery until 8 May.

To allow us to display as many pictures as possible there is a restriction on the size and number of pictures which can be entered, but there is no restriction on topic, so just bring your pictures along to the Museum between 3 and 10 March.
Full rules, information and entry forms can be found on the website.

Marden Henge lecture venue changed

This lecture is proving so popular it's now taking place at Devizes Town Hall where more seats are available. So if you were disappointed not to get tickets, please get in touch or book on-line - here.