Latest News - Saffron Walden Museum (June 2022)

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Saffron Walden Museum Summer

Museum News for June 2022

vol banner


Visiting the Museum!

Our standard opening hours are:

Wednesday-Saturday 10-5pm

Sundays & Bank Holidays 2-5pm

Closed Mondays (apart from bank holidays)

Tuesdays are reserved for pre-booked group visits by schools and other parties.

hen harrier

Object of the Month

The Museum’s ‘Object of the Month’ provides an opportunity to explore interesting and unusual objects from our stores. 

This month we are celebrating the Lost Language of Nature project, with repair work to this hen harrier. Saffron Walden Museum wants to hear your stories about wildlife and nature in your life, or that you know from parents or grandparents. Pick up a form in the Museum or head to their website for more information. Some old names for hen harriers are Blue sleeves, Vuzz kitt, Grey gled; or Ringtail for females, like this fragile mounted skin. The photo was taken during work to stabilise and preserve the bird, which came from Saffron Walden in the 1800s. Today, hen harriers are one of Britain’s most threatened birds of prey. The name comes from their hunting of wildfowl, but today they are seen as a threat to managed grouse shooting in parts of England and Scotland.

exhib 2

Current Exhibition 

All Fired Up!

runs until 3rd July 2022

Essex Fire Museum & Saffron Walden Museum have collaborated to create a unique exhibition about the history of firefighting in Essex. 

The exhibits include a wide range of artefacts, photographs, uniforms and equipment which trace the history of firefighting from Victorian times to the present day.  It also features private and works’ fire brigades, which were particularly prominent in Essex during the 20th century.

Along with discovering some of the technological developments which have influenced firefighting, visitors will also be able to discover heroic stories of bravery and the human stories behind some of the major incidents which have occurred in the county’s history. 

The exhibition touches upon some of the more obscure aspects of local fire-fighting history, including a troupe of fire-fighting scouts, a famous fire-fighting vicar and the story of how an obscure family pet caused a local mansion to go up in flames. 

jubilee 2

Have a right royal time with our Jubilee Activity Pack!

Create an amazing crown covered in sparkles, a swashbuckling sword and your very own celebration flag. Packs cost £5 each and contain the materials and instructions to do the three crafts at home.

Book here

jubilee event

Open Air Screening

‘Live Platinum Party at the Palace’ 

Saturday 4 June evening

in the Museum & Castle grounds

Saffron Walden Town Council in association with Saffron Walden Museum brings this FREE live celebration concert to Saffron Walden. Broadcast live on BBC One, the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday 4 June will bring together the world’s biggest entertainers to perform in front of Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. You will need a FREE TICKET, available from the Tourist Information Centre, to get access to the Castle grounds from 7pm and the live streaming of the concert starts at 8pm.

This will be an event for all generations, families and friends alike. Food will be available on site but there will be no bar. Feel free to bring your own picnic, but no glass please.  See for more information on Jubilee events in Saffron Walden.

Ticket-holders will have free admission to the Museum from 7pm, where they can see two special exhibits associated with the Queen’s Coronation. One is an embroidered panel made by Norman Hartnell as a sample for the Queen’s Coronation dress, and the other is a fine straw plait crown made by a local thatcher and builder for the Wimbish harvest festival in Coronation year. These will remain on show during June.


Come together: Unlocked, community art project workshop

7 June 2022 10-1pm

This workshop has been created in partnership with Saffron Hall as part of their project Come Together: Unlocked. In this workshop you will create and decorate a unique model doorway, and – with words or artwork - tell a story about what is behind the door. Whether inspired by real places or events, or by your imagination we hope that this activity will unlock amazing stories and creativity from people across Uttlesford. You will then be invited to have your doorway be exhibited as part of a larger art installation which will be installed in Saffron Community Link later in July.

Come Together: Unlocked is a season of events and activities running from April to July. As well as the opportunity to see your artwork included as part of the ‘unlocked’ installation, there will be a series of workshops and other activities, culminating in a week long residency in the Saffron Community Link from the 15th to 22nd July. To be the first to hear about other events and activities sign up to the Come Together: Unlocked mailing list at or email

Come Together: Unlocked is a Saffron Hall project delivered in partnership with Saffron Walden Museum, with support from Uttlesford District Council and Saffron Building Society. “

Book here


Project Update:

Lost Language of Nature 

We are very pleased to share the launch of an artistic commission for the Lost Language of Nature project! Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Saffron Walden Museum invite proposals from creative practitioners for a new commission that will respond to the global taxidermy collections at the Museum, exploring with communities and visitors the everyday language used to describe animals and the natural world. Creative responses should aim to illuminate traditional and modern relationships of people with nature and the environment, celebrating diversity, folk and informal knowledge and engage with new communities who may not visit the Museum currently. Find out more about the opportunity here or read more about Lost Language of Nature and the practical work at the Museum here

The commission will run alongside our Lost Language of Nature Exhibition, which opens Saturday 16 July, and will share some of the stories we have already discovered about the birds our collection, and the birds which James and Charlotte have been conserving and stabilising this year.

world cultures

Project Update:

Greater in Spirit,

Larger in Outlook

Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey and Saffron Walden Museum have received an Arts Council National Lottery project grant of £100,000 to work in partnership on their world culture collections.

The aim of the project is to ensure the museums and their collections reflect their diverse communities by working directly with cultural groups to research different objects and tell their stories.

The project’s title, ‘Greater in Spirit, Larger in Outlook’ is inspired by Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. Museum staff will work with relevant community groups including the Ethiopian History Society, to explore, explain and exhibit the collection leading to a new permanent display at Epping Forest District Museum, due to be completed by the end of 2022.

A spokesperson from Ethiopian History Society UK said: We are delighted to partner with Epping Forest District and Saffron Walden Museums for this vital project.”

Other cultures represented in the collections include West and East Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Both museums are looking to work with relevant community and cultural groups linked to these collections which will lead to a major temporary exhibition in 2023.

Hazel Edwards, Area Director (South East) for Arts Council England, said:

We’re delighted to be able to support a project that will see source communities for these exciting collections given the important opportunity to work with Epping Forest District and Saffron Walden Museums to research, reinterpret and redisplay the material for audiences to engage with, explore and enjoy.

"I look forward to the resulting exhibitions and seeing how it might inspire other museums to work with cultural organisations to deliver similar projects.”

For more about the project:

(pictured left): Image of Saffron Walden Museum's world cultures gallery. 

no mow

‘No Mow’ in Castle grounds

If you have visited the Castle recently, you will have noticed that areas of grass on the south and east sides of the site have been left unmown, with broad paths cut for general access. Already a number of naturally-occurring plants are flowering and later this summer the Museum plans to conduct a survey to check the range of wild flowers on the site. The flatter area between the Castle and Museum will be kept mown for events and general recreation.

The whole site, including Castle, Museum and the tennis courts, represents the bailey of Walden Castle and is a scheduled monument, protected by law. So any activities on the site must be compatible with its special heritage status and not disturb buried archaeology below turf level, unless special permission has been obtained. Thanks to Uttlesford District Council’s Grounds Maintenance team for adjusting the mowing regime to help us explore the site’s biodiversity.

no mow 2

loan boxes

Learning & Outreach

Saffron Walden Museum is committed to sharing stories from its collections through its learning and outreach services.

We welcome schools and community groups to the Museum or offer outreach sessions. 

Why not book for the next school term or for your community group.

Our loan boxes are also available for hire, £18 for 6 weeks, and will be quarantined in between hires to ensure they are Covid secure.




Shop Focus

This month in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee we are featuring an original Elizabeth II Florin coin supplied on a quality key chain.

The key-ring is supplied with a Jubilee header card.

On sale at the Museum for just £1.75 each. 

volunteer week

Volunteers week

This annual celebration takes place nationally between 1-7 June. 

We take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, who are vital to the running of the museum, for all their amazing efforts. 

Would you like to join our team?

We are always looking for additional new volunteers to join our welcome desk team on a regular or adhoc basis. 

To find out more about these and ‘Learning and Support’ volunteer opportunities please contact the museum using the details below.



Phone: 01799 510333