Category Archives: Press Releases

Royston Cave and Museum Partnership

Royston Museum and the Royston Cave partner to open Virtual Reality exhibit

Royston Cave Experience

For the first time in the modern era, Royston Museum and Royston Cave will collaborate to create and share a new Royston Heritage experience. On March 21st, the Museum will open a new permanent exhibit, incorporating artefacts from the Royston Cave, as well as a Virtual Reality Cave Experience. The display will feature never-before-seen archaeological evidence from the Cave, excavated over the past 50 years. The VR Cave Experience will allow visitors to explore the Cave year-round, without taking a single step. We invite Press to view the exhibit on March 20th– for more information please contact the Curator at curator@roystonmuseum.org.uk.

Cave and Museum Partnership

This joint exhibit is the first venture in a new, ongoing formal partnership between the Museum and Cave. Over the past few years, we have explored the option of combining forces through joint tours. Whilst the two organisations are both owned and operated by Royston Town Council, we have not combined resources since our previous iterations under the Royston Archaeological Society in 1856. The next expected step in this partnership is more practically-minded. The Museum will begin opening on Sunday afternoons during the 2020 Cave Season. Items related to the Cave will also be available for purchase in the Museum gift shop.

Cave and Museum History

In 1742, workmen discovered the Royston Cave whilst building a bench in the Butter Market. The landowner opened the Cave for paying visitors beginning in the 1790’s. In the early 1830’s, ownership and responsibility for the Cave transferred to an independent Trust. In 1856, the Royston Archaeological Society, many of whom were Cave Trustees, opened a Museum. Unfortunately, this first Museum and Society closed in 1901, and the Cave continued independently. In the 1950’s, the Archaeological Society reformed as the Local History Society, retaining ownership of the Cave and the Cave Trust. In the 1970’s, Royston Town Council opened a Museum in partnership with the LHS, and in the 1990’s, ownership of the Cave transferred to the Council. This partnership is the next logical step for both the Museum and the Cave, and we are excited to develop our organisations.

The Tapestry is Finished!

Royston Museum is thrilled to announce the completion of the Royston Tapestry.

Nearly thirty years after the first imagining of Royston Tapestry, Museum Assistant Amy Judd placed the final stitch on October 29th, 2018.

Curator and Manager Madeline Odent says, “We’re so excited to be moving forward with the Tapestry. So much skill, passion and expertise has gone into the work: it is truly a labour of love.”

The Tapestry was first conceived in 1989, by then-Curator Jane Vincent. Planning began in earnest in 1991, with the first stitch placed on July 1 1993. The Tapestry (although technically an embroidery) is based off the famous Bayeux Tapestry, with 15 scenes spread over a continuous, 24 metres long length of linen. Each scene, drawn by local artists Danni Kaye and Martin Kaszak, depicts an important period from Royston’s history. After copying the scenes onto the linen with pencil, embroiderers picked out the intricate stitches in crewel wool . Led by stitch coordinators Christina Renwick and former Curator Carole Kaszak, over 30 embroiderers have lent their skill to the masterpiece.

In Summer 2019, the Museum will unveil the entire Tapestry to the town. The community will get to enjoy and interact with the project while it is on display in the Town Hall. Following the reveal, the Tapestry will be hosted by other museums around the country. Local heritage sites will have the opportunity to display scenes particularly relevant to their communities. As this ‘Grand Tour’ takes place, Royston Museum will construct a suitable, long term display gallery for the piece. The Tapestry will then be welcomed to its permanent home in Royston at the same time the Bayeux Tapestry returns to England.

Now, the Museum is looking for more volunteers, of all ages and abilities, to prepare the Tapestry for display. Some supplies are also necessary, and donations in kind are welcome. The completed embroidery needs to have a new border applied, and a sturdy lining constructed and attached. Sewers, embroiderers, and general volunteers of all skill levels are invited to join the Tapestry Volunteers to work on this stage of the project.  “The Tapestry belongs to the Community of Royston, and we need the Community’s help to prepare it for display”.

 

For more information, and to sign up to help, head to http://www.roystonmuseum.org.uk/tapestry-project .