Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

Adult workshops, talks & tours

There’s No Business Like Shoe Business!

There's no business like shoe business

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Enjoy a short series of talks to complement the shoemaking exhibition ‘Experienced Hands’. The talks will look at the history of shoemaking in Northampton, the evolution of the shoe factory and allied buildings, and a history of shoe fashions, with a chance to take a closer look at a selection of shoes from the Designated collection.

Saturday 21 January 2017, 2pm

Dedicated Followers of Shoe Fashions

Rebecca Shawcross

A light-hearted look at shoes from Roman times to the present day by Rebecca Shawcross, Shoe Curator and author of ‘Shoes: An Illustrated History’. Encompassing the distinctly lewd medieval poulaine, the delicate flats of the early nineteenth century and the 70s platform, the talk takes in all the highs and lows of shoe fashions illustrated with shoes from the collection.

Saturday 28 January 2017, 2pm

Northampton’s Boot & Shoe Factory Heritage

Peter Perkins

This illustrated talk looks at the evolution of the boot & shoe factory in Northampton and the history of some of the buildings that remain today in the town’s Boot & Shoe Quarter.

£5 per lecture. 

No ticket refunds or exchanges.

Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Art History Lecture Series

art history lecture series

Four Paintings and a Wedding Chest: Renaissance Art in the Northampton Museum & Art Gallery collection


Northampton Museum & Art Gallery and The Guildhall

The third series of art history lectures from Pro Artium – art historians Conny Bailey, Miriam Gill and Ellie Pridgeon – will take the audience on a journey through the high points of the Italian Renaissance. Each session will feature a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with an artwork from the museum’s collection.

The sessions will include exclusive access to works attributed to:

Girolamo da Santacroce, Garofalo, Quirizio di Giovanni da Murano, Cima de Conegliano, and the wedding chest from the circle of Francesco di Giorgio.

All lectures will be held at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, other than Models of Antiquity on Friday 3 February which will be held in the Court Room at The Guildhall.

Friday 13 January

The Venetian Colourists

Painting: The Virgin and Child with Saint Stephen and Saint Lawrence - Girolamo da Santacroce

Tutor: Dr Miriam Gill 

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Friday 20 January

Representation and Rule

Painting: The Holy Family with Saints - Garofalo

Tutor: Dr Conny Bailey

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Friday 27 January

The Art of Devotion

Painting: The Virgin and Child - Quirizio de Giovanni da Murano

Tutor: Dr Ellie Pridgeon

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Friday 3 February

Models of Antiquity

Painting: A Classical Sacrifice - Cima de Conegliano

Tutor: Dr Conny Bailey

Location: Court Room of The Guildhall

Friday 10 February

Objects of Virtue

Object: The Wedding Chest

Tutor: Dr Conny Bailey

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

£6 per lecture or £25 for the whole series

Includes light refreshments

Ring 01604 837397 to book

Over 60s

Over 60s capt william wells


Northampton Museum & Art Gallery and Court Room of The Guildhall

Thursday 19 January

Admiral Lord Nelson

Speaker: Captain William Wells

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

This talk takes a comprehensive look at the man himself; the real person behind his portraits and embellished history. His career in the British Royal Navy, as well as the issues, conditions and circumstances that moulded him to stand out from other men as a leader without peer.

Thursday 2 February

Food Glorious Food

Speaker: Jon-Paul Carr

Location: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

A history of eating, shopping and food manufacturing in Northamptonshire from 1837 until the present day.

Thursday 23 February

Shakespeare's plants and gardens

Speaker: Andrew Mikolajski

Location: Court Room of The Guildhall

Plants and gardens had a particular importance to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. This talk will look at the restoration project at Kenilworth Castle and explore what plants meant to the Elizabethans.

Thursday 9 March

Royal Mistresses: A Quest for Love

Speaker: Roger Powell

Location: Court Room of The Guildhall

Roger Powell is an expert investigative genealogist specialising in the British Royal Family. In this talk he exposes the amazing story of how key English aristocratic families supplied the British royal family mistresses over several generations to secure influence at court.

Thursday 23 March

The Life and Times of Franz Lehár and The Merry Widow

Speaker: David Price

Location: Court Room of The Guildhall

The historical background to Franz Lehár’s master work, and how it survived initial controversy to become a worldwide success. With musical extracts and slides.

£2.50 per talk. Includes refreshments. Booking essential.

Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Another Look Back at Northamptonshire
Another look back at Northamptonshire

Saturday 4 February


Northampton Museum & Art Gallery

Northamptonshire Film Archive Trust returns to present a new selection of archive film with scenes and events from old Northampton and the surrounding area.  

Refreshments will be on sale during the interval.


Ring 01604 837397 to book

A Shoemaker Goes To War
shoemaker goes to war

Commemorating 100 years of the fall of the Shoemakers: 4th Territorial Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment at Gaza, WW1

Wednesday 19 April

3pm – Memorial service

7.30pm – Talks 

Abington Park Museum

A memorial service followed by a series of talks to commemorate the fall of the 4th Territorial Battalion in Gaza. The majority of men from the 4th Battalion fighting in WW1 were shoemakers from Northampton. Join us to remember the men who lost their lives 100 years ago, while fighting for our town and country.

Alison Butler from the Western Front Association will give a talk and also launch her new book which tells the story of the 4th battalion in WW1. Other speakers to be confirmed nearer the time – check website for updates at

In association with the Western Front Association.

Memorial service – FREE. Drop in – no booking required.

Talks – £10. Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Mailing list

If you would like to know about future exhibitions, events and workshops please email with your details and we will add you to our mailing list. Please state any preferences you may have e.g. art, history or general. All information will be kept confidential and used only by the museum.