As our re-opening draws closer, we're working hard on reorganising our display cabinets. Here's a sneak peek behind the scenes to give you a flavour of the changes ahead.
Crystal geodes are formed by great heat in spaces within rocks, they are highly prized as they are decorative and depending on the chemicals the crystals can be colours of the rainbow. So it was fitting to use the “furnace” that heated the museum building in Victorian times as the backdrop to the display of the museums mineral collection. There will be an identification sheet, but see which ones you know.
Discover the District
Part of the Discover the District gallery, this cabinet showcases the story of the gardens of the district and with a regular changing work of botanical art, illustrates how they have inspired local artists.
A gingerbread mould collection show how flourishing the 19th century trade was and though not complete a display of cameras and a monitor with ever changing photographic images will reveal how the districts landscape and people have inspired the local photographic societies.
Also part of the Discover the District gallery, the grand 1920s ex V&A display cases have been repurposed to display part of the District's rich culture, from 18th century Church music with the serpent to town bands, folk singing, Morris dancing up to popular music: look out for the single of Bohemian Rhapsody, the first draft of which was written at Rusper.
700 years of history
The dark ages are no longer dark in the bright new display which illustrates objects which span 700 years from Saxon jewellery found in the district, through to 1720s wallpaper found in a house in Horsham. The importance of the horse in medieval life is illustrated with fascinating spurs and horse brass and a brilliant floor tile from Pulborough church. Whilst the Tudor pin industry made from wire pulled through groves cut in animal bones is a recently new discovery. As for the square Tudor plate, only one of your daily “four square meals” a day.
The Horsham hoard
The Horsham hoard – not of money or jewels but of mediaeval pottery found in a pit in the floor of a building in west street being renovated in the 1860s. Not precious, but precious historically a fascinating survival that is over 600 years old that inspired Victorian souvenir trade to make white miniatures with town crests, not just Horsham, crest but across the country to be stuck to them.
Published: 01 Jul 2021