Leominster Museum
Leominster Museum

Leominster Museum is an exceptional museum of local history for Leominster and area. The Museum includes a recreation of a Victorian schoolroom and stables, plus a Georgian cider press and mill. There is a special exhibit on local artist John Scarlett Davis, an immensely successful Victorian painter, and local archaeological finds.

The museum (originally called the Leominster Folk Museum) has a wealth of historical artefacts and archives for Leominster and the surrounding area. See a Bronze Age burial unearthed at Aymestrey, locally crafted agricultural smocks, and a collection of unique early postage stamps and marks for use locally. Opposite the entrance is a 15th-century iron-bound oak chest.

One interesting exhibit showcases cheques and bank notes printed for the Leominster and Herefordshire Bank and railway artefacts from the construction of the Leominster and Kingston Railway.

The Aymestrey Bronze Age Burial
The Aymestrey Bronze Age Burial

The museum opened its doors on Etnam Street in 1972, in a building once used as a mission house for railway workers. It later purchased a 19th-century stable owned by the neighbouring building. The building was extended to display an entire cider mill which was left to the museum.

Outside the mill is a collection of farm tools and agricultural items including a fearsome 'man trap', a bone-crushing iron trap used to cripple poachers.

The newest addition to the museum is a special display called 'Rifles and Spades', a collection of local objects connected to World War One.

The Georgian Cider Mill
The Georgian Cider Mill

Among objects associated with John Scarlett Davis is a sketchbook holding 173 sketches, and a self-portrait painted in 1828.

The 100-year-old Chelsea Bun

One very unusual exhibit displays 'The Leominster Chealsea Bun'. The story behind the bun goes back to 1916 when a local man named Hodges was fighting in the trenches of France during WWI. His sister wanted to send him a morale-boosting reminder of home so she bought a Chelsea bun from Pewtres' bakery on Broad Street and sent it to her brother.

Before the bun could reach himthe brother was injured in combat and sent home to recuperate. The bun followed him through the military postal service and eventually arrived back in England where Hodges was in hospital. The bun was put by, and eventually forgotten until it was too stale to eat.

The 100-year-old bun, now dessicated, sits in its brown cardboard container in a display case on the ground floor. As for Hodges, he made a recovery from his wounds and became a cobbler after the war, with a shop in Burgess Street.

The Leominster Chelsea Bun - 100 years old
The Leominster Chelsea Bun - 100 years old

Getting There

The Leominster Museum is well signposted for pedestrians and is very easy to reach from central Leominster. From Corn Square take School Lane to Etnam Street and you will see the museum immediately opposite on the far side of the street.