A fascinating museum telling the story of a beautiful and historic Cheshire town. The museum's galleries present the history of Nantwich, including Roman salt making, the Great Fire in Nantwich in Tudor times (1583), the Battle of Nantwich (1644) during the English Civil War, and the local shoe and clothing industries. For those, like myself, unfamiliar with these events, a little synopsis. On December 10, 1583, a Nantwich brewer living in the Waterlode, accidentally started a blaze which burned for 20 days, destroying 150 houses, inns and other buildings. The fire made around 900 people – half the population – homeless, but fortunately, only two people perished. Transporting of salt, a principal product of Nantwich, was stopped for a while and the use of the town as a military staging point was halted. The support of the town by trade and industry was a matter which concerned Queen Elizabeth I and her Privy Council. As a result, she ordered a nationwide collection for funds to rebuild Nantwich, to which she contributed £1,000. The Battle of Nantwich was fought during the First English Civil War, between the Parliamentarians and Royalists on 25 January 1644. The Royalists under Lord Byron were besieging Nantwich, and Sir Thomas Fairfax led an army to relieve the town. As Fairfax approached, a sudden thaw caused the River Weaver to rise in spate, dividing Byron's cavalry from his infantry and artillery, who were overrun and destroyed by Fairfax.
IN the first extension, after the main galleries, you will find The Cheese Room – a permanent exhibition featuring the cheese-making industry of South Cheshire. There are artefacts from local cheese-making, accompanied by photographs of the work, together with photographs of local personalities. Although Nantwich is noted for its salt, leather and clothing trades, it is not generally appreciated that the town was an important centre for clock making. The museum has catalogued as many Nantwich-made clocks as possible. Photographs have been taken of each clock and a description has been included. The catalogue consists of a number of easy-to-use folders, with clocks listed under makers in chronological order. A section of a 700-year-old oak tree discovered under an area of Nantwich soil excited archaeologists, museum officials, and others – with good reason – back in 2004. For this was an ancient salt ship – or vessel in which brine (salt suspended in water) was stored as part of the salt-producing process. (It was not a sailing craft). The Museum is accessed via steps off Pillory street, there is disabled access down the alley to the side of the museum. The upper rooms can only be accessed via an internal staircase. There is an accessible WC on the ground floor. The information desk at the front of the museum has a Hearing Aid induction loop system installed. To make use of the facility your hearing aid should be set to the T position.
Location : Disley, Stockport, Cheshire, SK12 2NR
Transport: Nantwich (National Rail) 5 min. walk. Bus routes 51, 73 and 79 stop nearby.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 to 16:30
Tickets: Free (Donations Welcome)
Tel: 01270 627104