Exhibitions during 2020

Main current exhibition:

Public Water in Sleaford – ‘The Water we Drink’

This important exhibition is in association with Sleaford Civic Trust’s work on the renovation and renewal of the Bristol Water Fountain in the market place.  This new exhibition was unveiled in Saturday Sept. 14th 2019, the first of two ‘Heritage Open Days’ weekends.

The Bristol Water Fountain was built in 1874 to celebrate the sixth Earl and second Marquess of Bristol, who owned large portions of land in the town and collected rent from the residents.  It has been left derelict for more than 90 years, but is currently being restored.  The fountain, which is now owned by NKDC, was switched off in 1927 after the local springs which fed it began to dry up.  The project, which has been spearheaded by Sleaford Civic Trust, was ‘in the pipeline’ for years, but faced delays due to lack of funds.  Works to restore the fountain started on Monday, April 29, 2019, after it received a £34,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery to fund the renovations.  The beautifully refurbished Water Fountain was re-opened by the current Marquis of Bristol on Friday 4th October 2019, after which he toured the Museum with his wife, Meredith.

This exhibition gives information on the history of the fountain and the importance of public clean water supplies in Victorian England, as well as charts its decline and the reasons for its renovation.  Children in local schools are being included in the celebration of its restoration, and the Museum is involved in this aspect of the project too.



Other current exhibitions:

Peg Dolls

The Museum is lucky enough to have a large collection of exquisitely dressed and decorated peg dolls. They were made by the late Mrs Joan Fairgrieve of Bracebridge Heath and were generously donated to the Museum by her family.


History of Sleaford Workhouse

Sleaford Poor Law Union was formed in 1834.  Although there had been at least one workhouse in Sleaford before that date, a new purpose-built Workhouse was constructed on Eastgate between 1837-38.  This exhibition charts the development and history of this important local building which sadly no longer exists.



Photography through the ages

A small exhibition of photographic equipment and slides/photographs through the recent past began in March.


Silk Willoughby Aircrash, 4th June 1944

On the 4th of June, 1944, an American B24 Liberator (Sweet Chariot 261) demolished 2 farm buildings at Willoughby Walks.  The occupants of the farm were unhurt and there was no-one on board the aircraft……

This fascinating story is presented in a small exhibition, 75 years after the event.  It also coincided with a Local History talk about the aircrash presented by Mark Bamford on Tuesday 23rd July 2019.

Future Exhibitions –

From Feb 28th:

Childhood cabinet

From late March:

Sleaford’s Bass Maltings

An exciting major exhibition on the iconic Bass Maltings will be staged from late March 2020.

The Bass Maltings in Sleaford are a large group of eight disused malt houses originally owned by the Bass Brewery of Burton upon Trent.  Constructed between 1901 and 1907, the Maltings are the largest group of malt houses in England;  they have been designated Grade II* on the National Heritage List of England recognising them as “particularly important … of more than special interest.”