Exhibitions during 2019

Main current exhibition:

From April 7th 2019 onwards

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.  They are currently making a series of beautiful displays in the Museum and its large window.  A smaller selection are also being shown in Sleaford Library in the Market Place.

This photograph shows Joan with a small selection of the more than 2000 peg dolls she made in the 1970’s.  She based all the costumes on designs from the Victorian era and earlier, as the long crinoline skirts hid the peg-legs!  Each doll required at least 4 hours of work to make, although much longer for hand embroidery and intricate hairstyles – some very complex designs took weeks of work.  She always liked to ‘get the costumes right’ and researched extensively to ensure that they were authentic.  She also gave her dolls real character not only through the detailed costumes, but also by devising ingenious ways for them to hold handmade miniature objects.  They really are little works of art.

Sleaford Museum are privileged to hold the collection and delighted to be able to display the peg dolls to a wider audience.  If you or your children are ‘bitten by the bug’ of making peg dolls and want to know more, Sleaford Library are holding workshops for children on dates during April and a link here to their website will tell you more.

Just a few more pictures to whet your appetite…..


Other current exhibitions:

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 will chart 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 will begin 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 will be presented in a small exhibition beginning in June 2019, 75 years after the event.  It will also coincide with a talk about the aircrash presented by Mark Bamford on Tuesday 23rd July 2019. Click here for more details: Events and Talks


Future Exhibitions:

From September 14th 2019

Public Water in Sleaford

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 will be unveiled in Saturday Sept. 14th, 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, has been in the pipeline for years, but faced delays due to lack of funds.  Works to restore the fountain started on Monday, April 29, after it received a £34,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery to fund the renovations.

This exhibition will give information on the history of the fountain and the importance of public clean water supplies in Victorian England, as well as chart its decline and the reasons for its renovation.  Children in local schools are being included in the celebration of its restoration, and will also be able to take part in a Lego competition at the Museum to build a model of the fountain on the weekend of 14th/15th September.


Photos from Lincolnshirelive.co.uk

From January 2020:

Sleaford’s Bass Maltings

An exciting major exhibition on the iconic Bass Maltings will be staged from January 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.”