This page is regularly updated, please select here to view the latest version.
The museum is currently closed, in compliance with the Government restrictions.
In the meantime, we hope you find our Objects In Focus articles of interest.
We aim to re-open when the restrictions are lifted -
providing Step 3 of the roadmap is reached this is planned to be
2pm Wednesday 19th May 2021
The museum opening times will be:
Mar-Oct: Saturdays 1-5pm, Sundays 1-5pm, Wednesdays 2-5pm.
Nov-Feb: Sundays 2-4pm
We will aim to open as many Bank Holidays (Mar-Oct) as we can 2-5pm.
and by special appointment for groups, schools, etc.
Admission is Free
The procedures for operating safely, when we do repen, are:
We look forward to seeing you at the Museum when we are able to re-open. Please follow the Stewards’ instructions. Thank you.
In the meantime we hope you enjoy our Objects in Focus section ( see a bit lower down ).
Marlow Museum has been nominated for the Heart of Bucks - Peoples Choice Award. You can view all organisations nominated here. Voting closed on 4th October; thank you to all who have voted for us.
OBJECTS IN FOCUS
Featuring some of our artefacts or stories, this section will grow over time.
One by one we bring forward an object and tell you its provenance or an interesting story about it.
Do let us know by email what you think.
Mike Hyde, Chairman.
Objects in Focus - Items from Marlow Cottage Hospital
When Marlow Museum opened in 2009, many items of old medical equipment from the Cottage Hospital were given to the museum for safe keeping. Just a few of them are shown here – can you guess what they are? Some of the items look quite frightening, while others raise a smile.
The idea of a cottage hospital in Marlow goes back to at least 1867. The original idea came from Revd Robert Milman, Vicar of Marlow from 1862-1867, before he was consecrated as Bishop of Calcutta, India.
It was over 20 years before the hospital was established, although in August 1877 the Bucks Free Press reported: "It is with great pleasure that we have to announce that there is some chance of our having a Cottage Hospital in Marlow – [which is] so much required – which would confer a great blessing on the poor. "
The first Cottage Hospital in Cambridge House, Cambridge Road, Marlow opened in 1889.
Previously the building had been a private house and a school for boys. Sister Mary-Anne Cole was seconded from Reading to be in charge and was the only nurse. In its first year the hospital had 25 patients. It was supported by voluntary contributions and cost £200 a year. The catchment area included the parishes of Bisham, Medmenham and Little Marlow as well as Marlow. This hospital continued to serve the medical needs of residents for over 20 years, but in the early 1910s it was beginning to be recognised that a larger establishment was required. In the nine months up to February 1914, 87 patients were admitted for treatment and there were 144 out-patients. Sister Cole remained in post until 1915, having then served the Marlow community for 26 years.
A Charitable Trust was set up in 1913, to re-site the Cottage Hospital to larger purpose-built premises on the corner of Glade Road and Victoria Road.
The new hospital was designed by Gerald Berkeley Wills, a lifelong resident of Marlow, a distinguished architect and a founder member of the Marlow Society. He lived at Wolmer Cottage near Marlow Common, a house built to his own design. The Cottage Hospital was to cost £2000.
It was opened by well-known Marlow resident General Sir George Higginson in 1915, using a silver key with its own commemorative box, now held by Marlow Museum.
TThe Matron of the new hospital was Miss ‘Bobby’ Schilling (see photo). This was of course well before the start of the NHS so the hospital continued to be maintained by public subscriptions, donations and annual fund-raising activities.
The First World War had a major impact on the Cottage Hospital. A report in June 1918 said "An arrangement has been reached with the Bucks War Pensions Committee whereby the Cottage Hospital Committee have agreed to admit, for after-care and treatment, men invalided out of the Navy and Army, and they feel sure that subscribers will sympathise with this arrangement." However, the hospital was ill-prepared for the influx of wounded patients from the Forces and the Trust’s accounts were hit hard. The old Cambridge Road building was used during much of WWI, but the War Office Authorities vacated it at the end of October 1917 and in January 1918 the premises were re-let to a private tenant at a rental of £40. The Cottage Hospital in Victoria Road continued to be run by the Trust’s strict rules and financed by donations until after WW2. In the 1930s it was estimated that the hospital cost £1000 a year to run. In 1948 the NHS was set up and took over control of the hospital.
In 1967 the Doctors’ House surgery was opened to meet the needs of the community and a League of Hospital Friends was formed to raise funds for the continued development of the hospital. It was to be known as Marlow Community Hospital.
In 1991 an extension creating a Day Room and Examination Rooms was opened by Princess Diana, who was able to use the same key that General Higginson had used in 1915. Miss Bobby Schilling had married the hospital Treasurer and their daughter kept the key until 1991 when she gave it back to the hospital.
Della Fitzgerald, with thanks to the Riley Park Trust, Bucks Free Press and MyMarlow.
This is number 20 of Objects in Focus
For when we re-open:
Marlow Museum - An interesting and informative selection of displays and exhibits providing an insight to the history of this beautiful and historic town and the surrounding area. Admission is free. The Marlow Museum is handy to the town centre, Court Garden Leisure Centre, Higginson Park and the Pound Lane car park.
As well as the permanent displays, there are feature displays that are changed to something new every few months. Our past displays have included: General Higginson, 20 Women of Marlow, Borlase, Lace Making, Marlow Donkey, Natural History of the River, Little Marlow, Archaeology.
In school holidays there are often special activities for children, some of which continue throughout the summer.
Please stay in touch - select here to confirm we can securely keep your contact details.
Thank you if you have already done this.
Displays - when we are able to reopen:
The current feature display is -
The Story of Marlow
From Prehistoric Times to the Present Day.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Marlow Museum.
Looking for Gifts?
- or an interesting read for yourself.
Our booklets from recent exhibitions might make a good, easily-posted gift to a friend who used to live in Marlow. There’s quite a choice now.
- Rebels, Royals and Community Champions - Twenty women who left their mark on Marlow - £3.
- Travellers Tales, with Marlow connections - £4.50.
- Hidden Bisham - £4.
- A stroll Around Marlow - Then and Now - £4.
- From Tin Town to Des Res - The Story of Marlow Bottom - £4.50.
- The Story of Marlow - £4.50
- Marlow Stories (for children) - £2.00
Available from the Museum, along with other interesting Marlow history publications.
- please see above for opening times
Activities and Events:
The Visit Buckinghamshire organisation have put together a 17 mile Visit Midsomer Marlow trail in and around Marlow, taking in a range of the picturesque settings used in the filming of the TV series Midsomer Murders.
Why not start your tour from the Marlow Museum where you can pick up the trail leaflet.
Activities for Children at Marlow Museum
some of our dressing up outfits.
(Thank you to the Knight's able assistant for the photo)
The Museum and Buckinghamshire Lottery
Some Past Events:
Below are a selection of our past events and displays in recent years.
With the conclusion of WW1 in 1919 our regular Great War display updated every quarter has now ceased. Nevertheless Records of the deceased are still held in the museum for reference.
Their stories and that of the battles and the Home Front featured in an exhibition called "Marlow and The Great War - Finale". This was held on Saturday 8 June 2019 at the All Saints Church Hall on the Causeway, Marlow. 11.00-16.00. Entry was Free. The records and findings of 5 years of research by members of the Association were available to see.
The Marlow Remembers WW1 Association has been selected by the British Association of Local History for the 2019 Research and Publication Award - for the publication and display: From Beer to Bombs.
Marlow Then & Now.
This exhibition displayed history highlights of the area of Marlow within walking distance of the museum.
The accompanying booklet is available to purchase at the museum: 'A Stroll Round Marlow Then and Now', complete with the route to take in all the sites featured.
Friday 21st June 2019 7-9pm- we were open with musical entertainment by The Wycombe Steel Orchestra.
Friday 28th June 2019 7-9pm - Marlow’s very own Club Django provided their unique take on the vintage music of the Hot Club de France with the marvellous jazz tunes of Django Reinhardt & Stefan Grappelli.
The AGM for 2020 was by Zoom (due to the public health situation) on 25 June.
In 2019 the AGM was held on Thursday 13 June at 7.30pm in the Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow.
All Members, Friends, Supporters of the Museum were invited to attend.
The short meeting was followed by an illustrated talk by
Jacqueline Roberts of local charity SV2G on George Alexander Gratton ('The Spotted Boy' in the painting in Marlow's Parish Church) and St Vincent.
Drinks & nibbles were available throughout the evening.
On Sunday 17th Sept 2017 Marlow Museum was bedecked with examples of Marlow Lace with up to 3 lady demonstrators working on their lace pillows with bobbins.
Expert Pamela Johnson, a regular Steward at the museum, was on hand to speak to the scores of visitors, many of whom went on to visit the museum itself. People came from far and wide and were reminded of the very fine craft the was carried out in South Bucks.
A film show on the subject was displayed in the museum and descriptive leaflets were available. Some examples of local lace are on display in the museum.
Marlow Ukelele Band entertains at Marlow Museum
The Marlow Ukulele Band were playing a wide range of favourite songs on Sat 5th August 2017 at 3pm and Sat 9th September at 3pm. This created a musical and lively atmosphere, much enjoyed by visitors to the museum.
The Story of Marlow Bottom – from Tin Town to Des Res. The exhibition compiled by valley residents and designed by the Marlow Museum tells the fascinating story over centuries of how the once open countryside and farmland became an important residential area with shops, church, school and businesses. Entry is Free and a booklet (revised and expanded second edition) covering the story with pictures is available to purchase. Greetings Cards featuring the Valley are also available.
Sat 24th June 2017 - Ice Cream was made, the Victorian way, at the museum. Free demonstrations 1pm - 5pm.
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