Gloucester Folk MuseumThis site is Sponsored by Gloucestershire Web Hosting and Gloucestershire Self Storage Group
The Folk Museum opened in 1935 and consisted originally of 3 timber framed buildings. No. 99-101 Westgate St. is a merchants house of the late 15th century. The arched Oak beams of the original shop front survives to this day. These were closed originally by wooden shutters. The museum expanded into No. 103 in 1979. This is an early 17th Century building which has been rebuilt and partly refronted later on it's two lower stories.
Tenements are mentioned here in 1455, but the first significant owner was John Stanford, a rich clothier of Gloucester and Stonehouse, a prominent civic figure and a leading Protestant. He owned the whole block of property comprising No's 93 - 107 Westgate St. by 1548.
Sandford may have known John Hooper, Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester who was burned alive at St. Mary's Square in 1555 for his Protestant beliefs.Later accounts say that Hooper lodged in one Robert Ingrams housewhich was opposite to the steeple of St. Nicholas Church on the eve of his death.This has been interpreted as 99-101 Westgate St.
Stanford's house was inherited by his son Toby, who became a practising Doctor by 1600.He sold it to John Deignton senior, a surgeon who by 1602 lived in "part of the great burgage tenement"; a brewer lived in the other part, with a brewhouse and brewing rooms adjoining.Deignton's daughter inherited th propery on his death in 1640.
Various owner and occupants followed in No 99-103 untill William Cowcher ( 1713-1783 ) established a pin making factory. Brass pins were made by hand on the top floor of 99-103 by 1743 and a workshop at the rear of 99 was also converted at some stage. The annealing forge can still be seen at the museum and hundreds of pins have been found under the floorboards. The building continued as a pin factory untill 1853.
Occupants from 1853 untill the opening of the folk museum included ironmongers, china and glass dealers, booksellers, boot and shoe makers and undertakers.The folk museum expanded into 103 when the regimental museum moved in 1979 ( Now in Gloucester Docks )
The museum contains many fascinating exhibits including local fishing, Gloucester bank notes, civil war relics, children's toys, cheese making and altogether far too many to mention here. You can also see many exhibitions and demonstrations here throughout the year .
Folk Museum Information
Admision to all Gloucester museums are now free.
(01452) 396868 & 396869
With grateful thank to C.Morris, MA AMA Curator
You can buy a book about the folk museum here
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