Who we are
Royston Museum is owned and managed by Royston Museum Trust CIO. Responsibility for the museum's operation and development is entrusted with the Museum Manager, while the exhibitions and Collection are cared for by the Curator. A loyal group of volunteers help research and archive the Collection, and welcome visitors on open days.
Royston Town Council provide the museum with vital core funding, but the scale of the museum’s success, facilities and reach is reliant on visitor donations, community grants and external funding.
Royston Museum Trust CIO
Royston Museum Trust CIO is a registered charity. The Trust is overseen by a board of trustees made up of members of the community, members of the local History Society, local councillors and museum professionals.
The objects of Trust are (1) to advance education for public benefit, particularly the history of Royston and surrounding area, (2) to provide and maintain a permanent museum in Royston, (3) to care for, exhibit and interpret the museum’s Collection, and provide public access to it, (4) to provide learning experiences and activities for the education and enjoyment of the public, (5) to research, promote and publish studies of the area.
CHARITY NO. 1196386
In 1856, Royston Institute Museum was formed. It housed objects donated to raise funds for the building of a Mechanics Institute, which is now used as the Town Hall. Alfred Kingston, who wrote 'History of Royston', and Edmund Nunn, who excavated the burial mounds on Therfield Heath, were the original curators.
The museum was described in 1884 as being 'limited to a few dilapidated specimens of animal life of increasingly doubtful identity' with the odd relic seen through 'dusty or broken glass'. The museum subsequently closed and many artefacts were lost following the sale of the collection in 1901.
In 1965, Royston & District Local History Society was formed with the purpose of providing a museum for Royston, and members began collecting items of local historical interest. A few of the objects previously sold subsequently found their way back into the collection. In 1976, Royston Museum was opened in a small room at the back of the Town Hall but was later moved to a larger room on the other side of the building.
In 1982, Royston Town Council met with the History Society to discuss the establishment of a dedicated museum. In 1983, the Council leased the old school of the United Reformed Church on Lower King Street, and the new museum opened on Saturday 28 April 1984. It remains on that site today.
The museum continued to be owned and managed by Royston Town Council, while the Collection remained the property of the History Society.
In Nov 2021, an independent charity called Royston Museum Trust CIO was formed. The Trust took over ownership and management of the museum in March 2022.
Meet the team
Nicky is responsible for managing the daily operation of the museum, and overseeing its growth and development. He also manages Royston Cave, a Grade-I listed heritage attraction beneath Royston.
Rhian assists with the Manager and Curator with both operational and curatorial duties. She also supports events and oversees the running of the museum at weekends.
As Curator, Sophie cares for and archives the museum's Collection. She is also responsible for curating and interpreting the exhibitions. As well as Royston Museum, Sophie works as Curator for the British Orthodontics Society.
Emma supports the Manager with operational duties at Royston Cave. She conducts research, coordinates events and assists with maintenance. She also acts as a tour guide.
The Friends of
The Friends of Royston Museum was formed following a public meeting held in the Town Hall in 1984, and a steering committee was elected. It became a registered charity two years later and has continued to support the museum ever since.
The Friends encourage others to come and enjoy the collection, exhibitions and activities, act as volunteers, contribute towards conservation costs and purchase of equipment, and support the ongoing work of the museum in any way they can.
The objects of the Friends are (1) the education of the public by promotion, support, assistance and improvement of Royston Museum through the activity of a group of Friends, and (2) cooperation with the body responsible for the management of the museum.
CHARITY NO. 294287
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