|School of Science and Art|
In 1887 provision was made for a museum within the proposed School of Science and Art in Lansdown, subject to sufficient funds being found!
A local businessman and landowner, William Cowle included a bequest of £4000 in his will of 1897 to provide a museum for the town. Thus, shortly after his death in 1899 the Cowle Museum Trust was established to provide a museum for the people of Stroud and the surrounding district within the School of Science and Art in Lansdown.
|Cowle Museum Displays|
Since the early 1900s the collections have gradually developed. The Cowle Museum would have had similar objectives to other contempory museums. To make a collection of objects and associated knowledge available to support the sharing of knowledge, improve education and the progression of an understanding of the world whilst illustrating the history of the locality to visitors. And for the first 30 years it provided this resource without any staff!
A Mr C.I. Gardiner of Cheltenham was appointed as the first curator by the Museum Trustees on the 25th April 1929 for two days a week at the salary of £100 per annum (approximately £3,300 in 2005 terms).
The Cowle Museum formally opened to the public within the premises of the Stroud School of Science and Art in Lansdown on 15 March 1930.
BBC Video - Day Out in Stroud with Derek Jones, 1977 - Video features a short piece inside the Cowle Museum in 1977.
|Mansion and park circa 1920|
Just like many other museums around the middle of the 20th century it was becoming increasingly difficult for the Cowle Museum to survive as an independent museum. Gradually over time a partnership was established with the District Council and in 1983 the Museum became the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum. Despite huge steps being made in collections care with the Collection Management Centre at Stonehouse in the 1990s there became a need on many fronts, such as storage, space, relevance and reinterpretation to vacate the Lansdown Premises as a public museum space.
|Museum in the Park, 2001|
|Objects and People|
This eventually led to a successful Lottery Fund award in combination with the hard work and support of many organisations and individuals resulting in 2001 in the opening of the Museum in the Park. This enabled the Stroud District story to be re-displayed using modern techniques, in addition learning, public programmes and front of house service were able to develop well beyond what was previously possible and resulted in a significant focus in these areas to ensure visitor numbers and sustainability of this project.
|Museum and People|
The museum is a place where users can come and enjoy and learn about the district and how it got to where it is today. This is where you will find a hub of activity and work to ensure we are more than just a museum… but a Museum Service with the collections and people at our heart…
Why the weathercock? - Why the weathercock for a logo?
Museum in the Park welcomes 200,000th visitor since opening. See Stroud News & Journal article:
Stroud News & Journal article - 200,000th Visitor Behind the Scenes Tour
|Stroud Museum sign from Cowle Museum|