Its full title is 'The Grosvenor Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, with Schools of Science and Art, for Chester, Cheshire and North Wales', but, understandably, is commonly referred to as the Grosvenor Museum. Grosvenor Museum was founded in 1885, largely due to the inspiration and work of the Chester Society for Natural Science, Literature and Art. This society had been founded in 1871 by Charles Kingsley, who was at that time a canon of Chester Cathedral. In 1873 it joined forces with the Chester Archaeological Society and the Schools of Science and Art to raise money to build the museum. A sum of £11,000 was raised, which included a donation of £4,000 from the First Duke of Westminster. The Duke also gave a plot of land in Grosvenor Street. Thomas Lockwood was appointed as architect. The foundation stone was laid on 3 February 1885 by the Duke, and the museum was officially opened by him on 9 August 1886. A major extension was built in 1894. The first curator was Robert Newstead, who served in this position from 1886 to 1913 and again from 1922 to 1947. Newstead later became Professor Emeritus of Entomology at Liverpool University and was made a freeman of Chester. In 1947 Graham Webster took over as curator and devised the Newstead Gallery, named after his predecessor, which opened in 1953. Webster saved 20 Castle Street from demolition and created in it the first period room, the Victorian Parlour, which opened in 1955.
It is divided into 9 sections. Galleries 1 and 2 have changing exhibitions, for upcoming events click here. Timeline Gallery: Start your visit to the Grosvenor here as you explore the history of Chester, from pre-history to the present day. Newstead Roman Gallery: This gallery contains our display of Roman artefacts and archaeology. Learn about daily life in Deva, fortress building, the XX Legion and more. Stories in Stone: Learn about some of the people who lived in the fortress of Deva with this display of Roman tombstones; a collection of international importance due to the fact that so few survive. Kingsley Natural History Gallery: Discover the rich biodiversity of Cheshire with this display of geology, fossils and animals. Plus discover some surprising specimens and hidden treasures. Ridgway Silver Gallery: Chester silver is it's greatest contribution to British visual arts, and this gallery displays 400 years of hallmarked Chester silver. Art Gallery: The finest paintings and sculptures from the collection, on permanent display. They highlight the history of artistic practice and patronage in the Chester area. Period House: Number 20 Castle Street is a typical example of a gentry townhouse. Explore the varied rooms within, that give an impression of how the house would have looked through the ages. On three floors.
Be sure to see the Bressan recorders. These rare and beautiful recorders were made by the French recorder maker Peter Bressan (c. 1650-1731), who moved to London at the end of the 17th century and probably made these recorders not long after. Their importance lies in their fine workmanship and the fact that four of the six comprise a complete set. The set belonged to the Cholmondeley family of Cheshire and was found in an attic around 1845. The Grosvenor Museum has full independent access to the ground floor, including Exhibition Gallery One, the Lecture Theatre, the ground floor of the Period House, the Roman Gallery and the Roman Stones Gallery and accessible toilet. The lift controls do not have Braille markings but the lift controls do have tactile markings. Exhibits can be audio described.
Location : The Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester, Cheshire CH1 2DD
Transport: Chester (National Rail) 20 min. Bus routes Sapphire 1, 3, 3A, 4 and X1 stop outside; Sapphire 10A, 11, 11A, 12 and 16 stop nearby.
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10:30 to 17:00 Sunday 13:00 to 16:00
Tel: 01244 972197