Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
The Music Hall
Shropshire SY1 1LH
The grand Music Hall building houses Shrewsbury TIC, the Museum and the Art Gallery. Entry to the building is free but it is well worth paying the admission fee to explore Shrewsbury’s refurbished Museum & Art Gallery.
The Gallery and Museum actually occupy a unique collection of buildings, including the 13th-century Vaughan's Mansion, one of only a handful of early medieval defensive hall houses remaining in the UK.
Occupying the main part of the site is the 19th-century Music Hall and Assembly Rooms, designed by Edward Haycock Snr in 1835 and listed as Grade II.
The complex also includes a medieval shut (a passageway between buildings typical of Shrewsbury), 19th-century police holding cells (which were used to house defendants due to appear at trial in the Old Market Hall opposite) and a 20th-century civil defence bunker.
In essence the Music Hall site is a microcosm of the town as a whole that reflects a broad range of local traditions. Furthermore, the site was once the location of the town's fire service and, as such, the passage which runs through the Music Hall and out onto Swan Hill is called Fire Office Passage.
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 16:30
Sunday: 11:00 – 16:00 (last admissions 15:00).
Concessions are available. For up to date prices go to Web: Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
The Stop Cafe: open daily from 10:00.
Over 300,000 objects reflect 650 million years of Shropshire history in ever-changing exhibitions. As well, touring exhibitions and hands-on workshops help to supplement the experience.
Not all the objects can be displayed at once so they are divided up into six galleries:
- Shropshire Gallery’s Great Minds
In the 19th century Shropshire was at the heart of a scientific revolution and led the new advances in industry which followed. The Shropshire Gallery sits within the main auditorium and tells key stories about the county through the collections made by these forward thinkers.
- The Medieval, Tudor and Stuart Galleries
Situated within the first floor of Vaughan’s Mansion, the Medieval and Tudor Galleries uncover the facts about life, work and death in Medieval and Tudor Shropshire.
The Stuart period saw 20 years of religious and political turmoil. During the English Civil War Shropshire was of great strategic importance and local people were forced to take sides. The objects in this gallery tell their stories.
- The Roman Gallery
Set within the Undercroft of Vaughan’s Mansion, the Prehistory and Roman Gallery explores the evidence for what impact Roman rule had upon the lives of people. The collections on display include items ranging from the rare and unique finds from the early excavations at Wroxeter to modern day metal detecting finds from the county. The Prehistory & Roman Gallery is free of charge to enter.
- The Shropshire Gallery’s Ceramics
The first locally made pots date back to Prehistoric times with large scale production taking off in the Roman period and flourishing during the Industrial Revolution. The displays explore this story through the people who made some of Shropshire’s most famous tea sets and tiles, with pieces from Caughley, Coalport and Maw’s & Co. Each piece is a unique record of the skills of the local people who designed, moulded, and decorated them.
- The Shropshire Gallery’s Costume
This gallery gives a glimpse of fashion through the ages with regularly chaging displays of clothes and accessories worn or made in Shropshire. The museum has some superb examples of 19th century gentlemen’s and ladies’ high fashion.
- The Shropshire Gallery’s Hall of Rocks
Shropshire is lucky to have some of the most varied geology in the whole of Britain. Displayed are 650 million year old rocks and the fossils within them.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1743 258 885
The Music Hall is situated in the centre of Shrewsbury, in The Square. There is no parking on-site but there is plenty of charged public parking available nearby. There are bus stops nearby (approximately 2 minutes walk away) and the railway station is a 15 minutes walk. Details of Bus and Rail travel can be found at Web: Travel Shropshire
Google Map - Shrewsbury