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Do check our September and October events at ‘What’s On’ above

where you will find details of the Three Hares Gallery Exhibitions, Heritage Open Days, our Quiz night on the 26th and the ongoing WWI exhibition which is proving very popular.  […]


The Cowper and Newton Museum and gardens celebrate two great men who lived in Olney, the home of ‘Amazing Grace’.  Our Georgian gentlemen are the leading 18th Century poet and letter writer William Cowper and his friend, John Newton who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”, later to help William Wilberforce to abolish the slave trade. Together Cowper and Newton wrote the ‘Olney Hymns’ many of which are still sung today. This Georgian museum is housed in Orchard Side where William Cowper lived and worked 300 years ago. It has beautiful, well- tended gardens, a lovely 18th Century Summer House and a collection of local history artefacts.  Cowper wrote ‘Variety’s the very spice of life’ – come and see our fascinating variety of treasures here!

‘I was overwhelmed by the amount of collection care that is taking place in the museum with such a small number of staff and the quality of the collection of early rare pieces, it really was very impressive.’ ~Extract taken from: 2014 Collections Care Health Check, Museum Development Service, Oxford.


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Notice Board

See ‘What’s on’ above

Where all events and Exhibitions are listed,

Join us in celebrating John Newton’s 250th anniversary!

This year is the 250th Anniversary of John Newton preaching his first sermon at The St Peter and St Paul Church, Olney on Sunday, 27th May 1764.

Saltmine Theatre Company will be performing    ‘John Newton – Amazing Grace’


The Cowper and Newton Museum are thrilled to be welcoming the Saltmine Theatre Company to perform their ‘John Newton – Amazing Grace’ production in St Peter and St Paul Church in Olney – the very church where John Newton first preached 250 years ago this year.  In his rectory in Olney he wrote the world-renowned and much-loved hymn ‘Amazing Grace’.  “This is a powerfully moving story of slavery, freedom and the remarkable power of love and grace to transform a life” – Saltmine Theatre Company.

Press-ganged into the navy at nineteen, flogged for desertion and torn from the girl he loves, John Newton feels he has nothing to live for. Making his way into the harsh world of the eighteenth century transatlantic slave trade, he makes his living as an abusive trafficker of human flesh. He is a man beyond redemption, making enemies of all he meets, on his way to hell. Then one stormy night, with his ship going down, he faces certain death…and nothing is the same again.

Click here for a preview a life.

Tickets £15 on sale at The Cowper and Newton Museum – very popular so book soon!  The performance will be at St Peter and St Paul Church 7:30pm.  Ring 01234 711516 or 01234 713563.

Saltmine Theatre Company flier front A5    Saltmine Theatre Company flier back A5

Our visitors love coming back!

‘Such a fascinating museum!’ ‘Thank you for keeping our treasures safe for all to enjoy’. ‘We had no idea this amazing museum with gorgeous gardens were here and we’ve lived here 30 years! We’ll be back using our Annual Pass!’ ‘So many interesting things to look at and stories to read about – thank you!’

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Come and see our 'Olney People and WW1 Exhibition'

WW1 Trench

To remember our brave heroes and to commemorate the Great War 1914 -1918 we are telling the local story of those years.  With our thanks to so many kind families in our community we now have information and artefacts relating to many local families during WW1.

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