Northampton museums - what's on

Adult workshops, talks & tours

Book online on our Eventbrite page  Alternatively, the Abington Park Museum ticket booking line is open during term time from November to March, Thursday to Sunday 12 - 4pm and during school holidays Thursday to Sunday 12 - 4pm.  From 1 April the times change to 1 - 5pm.  You can also call 01604 838110 to purchase your ticket over the phone.



Tours of Abington Park MuseumWooden panelling in Oak Room, Abington Park Museum

Sunday 22 September
Sunday 17 November - sold out

Abington Park Museum
Volunteer led guided tours of the historic Abington Park Museum. Discover the history of the building and the people who have lived there.
Recommended for adults. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Tours involve stairs and uneven floors and will last approximately 45 minutes.
See top of page for how to book.



Italian Cookery Workshops with Carmela 

Italian Desserts with Carmela - sold out
Saturday 16 Novemberdesserts
Abington Park Museum

Carmela will make four Italian desserts for you to enjoy with your coffee. You will then make one to take home and enjoy with your friends and family. The full menu of delicious desserts that will be made will be shared nearer the time. All materials are included in the price of the ticket. You will be informed of which utensils to bring on booking. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.


Over 60s

£3 per talk
Includes refreshments
Booking essential and opens Thursday 5 September at 1pm (see top of page for how to book)
Abington Park Museum

Thursday 12 September
War Memorials in the UK and the Work of the War Memorials Trust

Speaker: Richard Hill
A look at British war memorials, with reference to local examples, together with an overview of the work of the War Memorials Trust


Thursday 26 September - sold out
Tales From the Footplate

Speaker: Peter Stratton
This talk will look at the very early days of the railways in South Northamptonshire and the experiences of the men who worked on them.

Thursday 10 October - sold out
Northamptonshire Behind the Scenes and Vanished Scenes

Speaker: Richard Deacon
Richard takes us through views, street scenes and buildings which have now disappeared or changed over the last 50 years, including inside shoe factories and the Weedon Ordnance Depot.

Thursday 24 October - sold out
The Curse of The Treshams

Speaker: Mike Stroud
Murdered, executed, betrayed, assassinated, died young, persecuted, poisoned. A fascinating story of a cursed family.

Thursday 14 November - sold out
Wallis Simpson and the Abdication Crisis of 1936 – The Year of Three Kings

Speaker: Roy Smart
Wallis Simpson brought King Edward VIII to his knees and caused an unprecedented constitutional crisis that gripped a generation. 


Thursday 28 November - sold out
Pleasures and Pastimes of Victorian Britain

Speaker: Ian Waller
This talk examines the leisure pursuits of our ancestors and how their example gave us more leisure time – with the advent of the railways many ordinary working class Victorians began to take seaside holidays and take part in varied activities.


Thursday 12 December - sold out
Richard III

Speaker: Max Keen
Was Richard the monster that Shakespeare would have us believe? Was he the rightful King of England after his brother Edward IV?  Complete with armour, chain mail and weapons of the period!

Booking opens Thursday 5 September at 1pm.
See top of page for how to book.



Eleanor of Castile and the Northampton Cross

Thursday 3 October
11am - 4.45pm
Abington Park Museum

This study day will explore the well-known Northampton landmark. A powerful medieval Queen, Eleanor’s importance and the respect she was held in is shown in Edward I’s beautiful memorials to her, the Eleanor crosses. Specialists and historians will discuss why the Northampton cross was built and the story of Eleanor of Castile the Queen of Edward I. The day will also look at how the crosses were carved and built and the wider context of Northampton during this period, how the cross has been used or perceived in art from 1600 to the present day, and the recent conservation work.

There will be opportunities to touch and look closely at recent stone taken from the cross. We will also look at what the cross means to residents and visitors today. The keynote speaker is Sara Cockerill, historian and author of Eleanor of Castile The Shadow Queen. Other speakers include Dr Andy King, Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Southampton and author of Edward I: a new King Arthur?, Dr Jennifer S Alexander FSA, Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Warwick who will explore the architecture of the cross and Decca Warrington author of The Eleanor Crosses: The story of King Edward I’s lost Queen and her Architectural Legacy. Archaeologist Andy Chapman, will set the scenes discussing the latest archaeological evidence for Northampton in this period and Elizabeth Socci  (Northampton Museums and Art Gallery’s Art Curator) will discuss how the cross has inspired artists over the centuries.
In a session led by Jane Jennings, Henry Sanders of Acanthus Clews Architects and David Carrington of Skillington Workshop will give a view behind the scenes into the conservation of the Cross and what was learnt from conservation of this this important monument.

See the line up and order of speakers

£20 – morning ticket 11am-1pm (includes refreshments but no lunch)
£30 – all day ticket (includes lunch and refreshments)

Please inform us of any dietary requirements when booking
See top of page for how to book tickets



Art History Lecture Series

Buzzwords or Balderdash?
Five art history terms laid bare


Friday 11 October – Friday 15 November
10.15am – 12.15pm

Abington Park MuseumArt History Lecture Series, Buzzwords or Balderdash? Five art history terms laid bare

Seemingly, every walk of life these days has its own specialist terminology, and art history is no different – we occasionally have to resort to jargon to make a point in our narrative effectively and efficiently. For our eleventh series, we are using artefacts from the collection of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery to de-mystify some of the most commonly used terms which we use to describe art works or the background of their existence. Join art historians Conny Bailey, Miriam Gill and Ellie Pridgeon (ProArtium) as they get up close and personal with terminology such as en plein air, chiaroscuro or impasto while showcasing gems from the museum’s vaults.


Friday 11 October
En Plein Air

Artist: Thérèse Lessore, Brighton Fishermen
Speaker: Dr Miriam Gill


Friday 18 October

Artist: Peter Newcombe, Destruction of Phipps Brewery
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey


Friday 25 October

Artist: Jonathan Adams, Venice 90
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey


Friday 8 November

Artist: Lucien Pissarro, Kew Gardens
Speaker: Dr Ellie Pridgeon


Friday 15 November
Still Life

Artist: George Herbert Buckingham Holland, The Sage
Speaker: Dr Conny Bailey

Speakers are correct at the time of going to press, but may be amended due to unforeseen changes to availability or subject expertise.

£6 per lecture or £25 for the whole series

Includes light refreshments

Booking essential
See top of page for how to book




Yuko Nakayama’s Japanese Street Food Cooking Workshop

Sunday 27 October - sold out
1 - 3.30pm
Abington Park Museum

Yuko Nakayama returns to the museum for her third cooking workshop. Japanese food is becoming more and more popular and this class will be looking at street food, often eaten by Japanese people as comfort food. In this course, you’ll see familiar dishes from the menus of high street restaurants and learn how to make them yourselves. Courses will include pork gyoza three ways and two other side dishes such as spinach and tofu salad to make a nutritiously balanced meal.

Yuko has lived in the UK for the past 10 years and creates authentic Japanese dinner parties in people's homes through her unique Japanese home dining service, Omotenashi Dining. Yuko prepares home cooked Japanese food, showing there is much more to Japanese cuisine than sushi.
Suitable for ages 16 and over.

After booking you will be informed of a list of basic utensils to bring.
Whilst we can cater for some food intolerances, due to the nature of the food being prepared this workshop may not be suitable for everyone. This session will make foods with ingredients containing gluten. If you have another specific intolerance or queries please contact the museum in advance of booking.
£35 per ticket (price includes all ingredients)
Booking essential
See top of page for how to book



A Festive Evening of Gin

Saturday 9 NovemberAn evening of gin
7 - 9pm
Abington Park Museum

Following the success of our previous gin events, we are delighted to hold a festive gin evening which will include seasonal and Christmas gins. A gin and tonic will be served upon arrival, and attendees will get straight into learning about the history of the spirit and how it is distilled. Six different gins will then be sampled with notes on each, before tasting gins paired with their perfect tonics. After sampling you will learn how to make the perfect G&T, including the important extras such as which garnishes work with different gins, and how to pair foods for entertaining. This two hour event will be hosted by Quentin Neville, owner and distiller from Northampton’s Phipps Brewery and Artisan Blending Limited. Quentin’s own gins will be available to buy on the evening.
Alcohol will be consumed at this event and participants should arrange a taxi or alternative transport. Please drink responsibly.
Over 18s only.

£30 per person

Booking essential
See top of page for how to book


Another Look Back at Northamptonshire

  Saturday Another look back1 February
  1.30 - 3.30pm
  Abington Park Museum

  Northamptonshire Film Archive Trust returns to present a selection of archive film including a fascinating look inside the Chronicle & Echo  
  newspaper in the 1950s; a Bassett Loake film of Northampton events between 1935 to 1939, shoe making at the John White factory in
  Rushden, and rural crafts in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The first three films were originally shown at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery
  in 2015.
  Suitable for ages 16 and over.
  £6 per person (includes light refreshments)

Booking essential
See top of page for how to book


Mailing list

If you would like to know about future exhibitions, events and workshops please complete the online form 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.