Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy Exhibition – Now open!

This exhibition is focused on the life and work of Congleton‘s campaigner for women’s rights, Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy.

Elizabeth had a major influence on the position of women in the nineteenth century. She was involved in setting up a rigorous system of education for girls that would allow them eventually to attend university and it was as headmistress of a school at Moody Hall that she first came to Congleton in 1867. She remained here for the rest of her life, moving to Buxton House in Buglawton where she orchestrated campaigns that led to women being allowed to own property in their own right and have more control over their children and from where she fought long and hard for the vote.

Elizabeth was a major figure in the suffrage movement and worked closely with the Pankhursts and Millicent Fawcett. Unfortunately her role has been overlooked but we hope to rectify this over the summer! The exhibition opens at the beginning of June and there will be a range of suffragette related items on sale made by volunteer Moira Lawrence.

Main Museum

The main exhibition gallery displays four major themes associated with the town’s past.

Each theme is presented through objects, a relief map of the town, interactive computer programmes and talking heads.

    • Archaeology and Pre-history: The museum’s collections span over 4,000 years.


    • Civil War: Series of exhibits chronicling the English Civil War, offering explanation about the conflict and the different views of the royalists and the parliamentarians.


    • Industrial Revolution: Exploring the impact of the industrial revolution on the local area.


  • Second World War: Congleton had its own Victoria Cross holder;  local industry was busy working on the war effort  and the area was home to many evacuees and a base of the Dutch Princes Irene Brigade.