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.


Over 60s

£3 per talk
Includes refreshments
Abington Park Museum

Thursday 9 May
My Father’s Journey and Experiences During WWII
Speaker:  Andy Tennet

Andy’s presentation details the experiences of his late father during WWII. An ordinary man caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Including many original documents, photos and mementos.

Thursday 23 May
The Campaign of Naseby 1645
Speaker: Mike Ingram

The Battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645 is one of the three most important battles in English history, fought right here in Northamptonshire. This talk explores why it was fought here, the story of the battle itself and includes new research into what happened at the end.

Thursday 13 June
The Language of Flowers
Speaker: Michael Brown

A Victorian gentleman’s amorous adventures described through the now mostly forgotten language of flowers. Flowers, social history and romance – what more could you ask for?

Thursday 27 June
Come Into The Garden, Maud
Speaker: Andrew Mikolajski

Tennyson’s invitation to Maud suggests an exploration of Victorian gardens. What made them different from earlier gardens, and what garden practices have survived until today?

Thursday 11 July
Agatha Christie
Speaker: Steve Dimmer

A look at the amazing career of the most popular crime novelist of all time including the real-life mystery of her disappearance.
Booking opens Friday 5 April at 1pm.
Booking essential. See top of page for how to book.


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

Sunday 28 April - full
Sunday 26 May
Sunday 30 June
Sunday 28 July
Sunday 11 August

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.


Watercolour Workshops with David Douglas

Friday 26 April - Friday 24 May
2 - 4pm
Abington Park Museum

Join us for another springtime edition of our watercolour workshops series led by Northamptonshire artist and teacher David Douglas. Workshops are open to adults of all abilities and offer a chance to improve techniques and meet other artists. This series offers the unique opportunity to paint in the museum with views out onto Abington Park.

Friday 26 AprilWatercolour workshop - FULL
Week 1 - Abington Park

During the first afternoon we will produce paintings focusing on the grounds of Abington Park.

Friday 3 May - FULL
Week 2 - Band Stand

For the second session we will paint watercolours focusing on the structure of the band stand.

Friday 10 May
Week 3 - Still Life

In the third week we will create still life watercolours from an arrangement of objects and artefacts found inside Abington Park Museum.

Friday 17 May
Week 4 - Portraits

The fourth workshop will tackle portraiture, where we will produce portraits of a person in period costume.

Friday 24 May
Week 5 - Interiors

The final session will involve painting watercolours of the inside of the museum. The emphasis wil be on capturing the atmosphere of the building.

£20 per workshop or £90 for the series of five.
Price includes light refreshments and basic materials.
See top of page for how to book


The Folklore of Shoes

Friday 3 MayFolklore of Shoes Symposium
10am - 4pm
The Guildhall, St Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1ED

Following our successful concealed shoe event in September 2017, this symposium will present the latest thinking and research on shoes in folklore. Topics will include shoe depictions and graffiti on buildings, shoes as relics, shoes in language and proverbs, and shoes in folklore stories.

Further information regarding speakers and schedule for the day

In partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and the Folklore Society.
£25 adults
Discounted price of £15 students (see separate event on Eventbrite). Students must show a Student card on arrival.
Price includes lunch and light refreshments
Booking essential
See top of page for how to book

Art History Lecture Series

Towards the Third Dimension Sculptors in the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery collection
Friday 10 May - Friday 14 June
10.15am - 12.15pm
Abington Park Museum

The 19th and 20th centuries produced some extraordinary development in European and British sculpture. It is our privilige to have representative works made by some of the leading names of modern sculpture, as well as the odd surprise, in the collection of the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery. Join ProArtium (art historians Dr Conny Bailey, Dr Miriam Gill and Dr Ellie Pridgeon) as they explore the lives, works and techniques of Auguste Rodin, Paul Gaugin, Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink and Robert Adams, for our first foray into the three-dimensional world of sculpture.

Friday 10 May
August Rodin

Tête du Jeune FemmeGaugin - La Petite Parisienne

Friday 17 May
Paul Gaugin
La Petite Parisienne

Friday 24 May
Henry Moore

Sketch and Maquette for Madonna and Child (two works)

Friday 7 June
Elisabeth Frink

Horse and Rider 5

Friday 14 June
Robert Adams

Rising Movement No 2

Speakers to be confirmed closer to the event. Please check website or the next issue of the What's on for further information nearer the time. Order of lectures correct at the time of going to press; however, availability may change or relevant guest speakers may become available in the interim. Consequently, ProArtium reserve the right to change speakers where necessary or appropriate. Any changes will be publicised as early as possible.

£6 per lecture of £25 for the whole series
Includes light refreshments
See top of page for how to book


Italian Cookery Workshops with Carmela  Carmela

A series of three workshops led by Italian cook and author Carmela Sereno Hayes. Book onto one workshop for £30 or book for all three workshops at a reduced price of £80.  See top of page for how to book.

Rainbow Pasta with Carmela
Saturday 11 May

Carmela will show you how to make a basic semola pasta as well as different coloured pastas using spinach, beetroot and tomato pasta. She will then demonstrate how to create a variety of shapes, filled and unfilled. Then it’s over to you to have a go! 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.
Book onto one workshop for £30 or book for all three workshops at a reduced price of £80

See top of page for how to book

Carmela's Kitchen Pasta & Sauce workshop  Pasta and Sauces with Carmela
  Saturday 7 September
  Abington Park Museum

Carmela will make and prepare a seasonal pesto, gorgonzola sauce, cherry tomato sauce and carbonara sauce and pair them with dried pasta. She will then demonstrate the preparation of fresh pasta for you to make and take home. 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.
Book onto one workshop for £30 or book for all three workshops at a reduced price of £80
See top of page for how to book

Italian Desserts with Carmela
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.
Book onto one workshop for £30 or book for all three workshops at a reduced price of £80
See top of page for how to book


Edgecote 1469 – A Study Day

With Northamptonshire Battlefields Society
Saturday 27 July
Abington Park Museum

2019 marks the 550th anniversary of one of the most misunderstood and confusing battles of the Wars of the Roses. Fought in South Northamptonshire just outside Banbury, by armies from Wales and Yorkshire, it was Warwick the Kingmaker’s first step from Yorkist to Lancastrian. The outcome of the battle was determined by a dispute over a fair maid from Banbury and a rag-tag group of rascals from in and around Northampton – or was it?

This study day will look at the campaign and battle, from why the Earl of Warwick felt compelled to abandon the House of York, to the mysterious Robin of Redesdale who plunged the kingdom into such chaos, and the bloody executions at the foot of the Eleanor Cross in Northampton where long held grudges were settled.

Speakers will include:
Mike Ingram, local historian and chairman of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society
Phil Steele, trustee of the Battlefields Trust
Harvey Watson, editor of Battlefields Magazine
Graham Evans, secretary of Northamptonshire Battlefields Society
Professor Ann Parry Owen and Dr Jenny Day from the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies.
£35 per person
£30 for members of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society or Battlefields Trust.

Ticket price includes car parking on Abington Park, refreshments and a full buffet lunch
Please inform us of any dietary requirements when booking
This event is organised by Northamptonshire Battlefields Society. Find out more at:
See top of page for how to book

Eleanor of Castille and the Northampton Cross

Thursday 3 October
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 Castille 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 Castille The Shadow Queen. Other speakers include archaeologist Andy Chapman, stone conservators working on the conservation of the cross and Northampton Museums and Art Gallery’s art curator.

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

Yuko Nakayama’s Japanese Street Food Cooking Workshop

Sunday 27 October
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

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.