Shrewsbury News

A Cargo Of Curiosities

A Cargo Of Curiosities Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery has come up with an innovative shopping experience, linked to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the county town's most famous son.

Inspired by the treasures which Charles Darwin brought back to England at the end of his extraordinary five-year voyage, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery at Rowley’s House has created the "Cargo of Curiosities" - a Christmas shopping opportunity that will feature products from the route of HMS Beagle and include local suppliers, Shropshire artists and fairly traded goods.

When the Cargo arrives on Saturday 21st November, colourful packing crates will reveal ethically sourced, exquisite shells and fossil specimens; cleverly designed, soft toy armadillos, dodos, kiwis, duckbilled platypus and Galapagos tortoises. The shop will aim to satisfy a wide range of ages and interests including books, educational toys and local craft products as well as offering pocket money gifts and stocking fillers. If demand is high the range of goods available for sale will continue to evolve all the way through to the closure of the shop on Saturday February 13th, 2010!

The shop's opening hours will be from 10am to 5.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

“We want people to come and visit the Museum to see Shrewsbury’s unique historic collection founded almost 175 years ago” said Visitor Facilities Manager Tim Jenkins. “Entry to the Museum is free and we believe this special shop will provide an added incentive to come along and enjoy the displays and explore Rowley’s House. All proceeds will help with the management, care and display of artefacts”.

The Museum which is operated by Shropshire Council, will also be hosting free activities for families throughout the Festive season, with a special 'Young Collector’s Trail' through the galleries, and hands-on sessions with museum staff every Saturday up until Christmas at 1.00pm. There is currently a special exhibition on display about Charles Darwin, his family and his contemporaries.

All roads have led to Shrewsbury during the anniversary year, which also marks the 150th anniversary of one of the world’s most famous publications, The Origin of the Species.  Other highlights of the calendar of events this year have included the opening of the brand new Theatre Severn; the gradual appearance of a new sculpture – 'Quantum Leap'; and the unveiling of the Darwin Way Markers, which offer visitors a new way of following in the footsteps of Darwin. Replicas of the specially commissioned way markers will be available from Rowley’s House.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is based within Rowley’s House, Barker Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1QH .  For further information call 01743 281 205 or visit

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