17th century gold Mourning ring

In June, Ian Doughty travelled to the British Museum for Middlewich Town Council to collect a 17th century Gold Mourning Ring.  As the only accredited museum in central East Cheshire, Congleton Museum was in a unique position to support Middlewich in ensuring that the ring stayed in the area. This ended a year long wait for this beautiful ring to make its way home.

Ring

Its delicate and highly intricate decoration and inscription are as clear as the day it was engraved. If the date of manufacture is around 1658-1669 (as is thought), among many possible candidates for the ring’s owner are Frances and Katherine Venables, widows of the last two Baron Venables of Kinderton. A history is being compiled to unravel the story behind the ring.
Working in partnership with Middlewich Town Council, Congleton Museum will display this lovely find at a date to be announced later this year.

Congleton Heritage booklet

Learn about your town’s history and take a self-guided tour of local places of interest with the museum’s new booklet, Congleton Heritage. Featuring a town centre map, the tour features 15 landmarks including The White Lion, the Town Hall, Bradshaw House, the Congleton Bath House, St. Peter’s Church, the Moody Street Cottages and the Little Street Shops – as well as the museum, of course! The booklet is on sale at the museum for £1.50.

Congletons Heritage Booklet

Charter Passport

Did you know that Elizabeth I granted Congleton’s inhabitants freedom from tolls in 1585? This confirmed a right granted to Congleton by Henry de Lacy in 1272.

LicenceThe small charter allowed people from Congleton to avoid paying for toll roads, tolls for passing through city walls & tolls for crossing bridges throughout the realm. People from Congleton would get small ‘passports’ signed by the sheriff to demonstrate this freedom to toll collectors. Sadly, Congletonians no longer have this right and they now the have to pay like everyone else.

The History of Religion in Congleton

Peter Aston, museum trustee and chairman of Congleton History Society,
will give a talk on Friday 13 September at 7.30 pm at the museum. He will
conduct a pictorial tour of churches in Congleton, explaining their
individual histories and the influences (both local and national) that affected
their development.

The town has a rich and complex religious history. Initially, Astbury
was the mother church but as Congleton itself grew in importance, St
Peter’s tried to assert its religious dominance.

Methodism became popular in the area in the mid 18th century and, of
course, Primitive Methodism originated in a famous meeting at Mow Cop.

For more fascinating information, come to the talk.

If you have an interesting old bible, perhaps with a family history,
please bring it to show us.

Tickets £2.00 (free for Friends of the Museum). As space is limited,
pre-booking is recommended. Please contact the museum to book on 01260
276360

Congleton Love Poem

One of our volunteers, Jamie Campbell, has just discovered the love poem pictured

Congleton Love Poembelow in our archives. The author is unknown, however based on the style of handwriting and exaggerated sentimentality, it’s thought to date from c.1800-1900.(Note, there is a collection of similar poems called ‘The Congleton Alphabet’). It reads in part…

For ladies fair, tis true Lancashire’s fam’d ,
But Fame Asserts sometimes ought be flam’d:
Congleton’s self the Privilege can boast
Whose every Lady claims a favourite Toast,
Miss N—y W—d an Object of our Praise,
And far too much t’attempt in Humble Lays;
Celestial Shape! In Beauty she may vie,
With Greece’s Hellen, seated now on high!

A Wartime Love Story

A local wartime love story! Valerie and Theo from Veendam in the Netherlands visited the museum on Saturday. They left a message in our visitor’s book saying that Valerie’s Dutch father met her English mother in Congleton in 1940. (Presumably her father was in the Prinses Irene Brigade, which was billeted in the empty town mills at the time.)