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Museums at Night

Saturday, May 16, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm



Museums at Night: Discover William Cowper’s Summer House

Museums at night is an an annual UK-wide festival which seeks to encourage visitors into museums, galleries and heritage sites by throwing their doors open after hours and putting on special evening events. It is a unique opportunity to visit our Museum at night – an unusual and relaxing evening in beautiful surroundings. This garden originally belonged to the apothecary who lived next door to Orchard Side. After the apothecary’s death, Cowper was allowed the use of this former medicinal and herbal garden. Selected friends were allowed to visit him in the unique building in the centre, which he described as his ‘verse manufactory’ or ‘sulking house’ dependent on his mood. After the poet’s death in 1800, admirers of his works visited this small ‘literary shrine’ and many inscribed their names and dates on the walls and ceiling, the earliest found being 1802!

Follow a lantern-lit pathway through the gardens, via a gate in the corner to William Cowper’s Summer House ‘secured for the nation’. Here you’ll see a willow sculpture of Cowper with one of his hares. Inside the museum, with a glass of wine, music and conversation, learn more about the summer house’s history and be treated to another fabulous talk by Lisa Gee on William Hayley, Cowper’s biographer and the Poet Laureate that England never had. This evening will be raising funds to conserve the summer house. Book in advance at the museum, or turn up on the night. (£6 per adult to include wine). A wonderful Georgian evening!

Museums at Night


Saturday, May 16, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Orchard Side