Evening event kicking off a weekend of activity celebrating the Museum's founding collections

Heritage Lottery Fund

We are celebrating Elias Ashmole’s 400th birthday year in 17th-century style. We were transported back to the 1600s during the festival weekend with period theatre, talks, quizzes and music.

This event was part of our Founder's Festival which ran from Friday 27 until Sunday 29 October 2017. Find out more about the activities held on Saturday and Sunday HERE.

Supported by The Linbury Trust and the the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


CLICK HERE to download the PDF LiveFriday Programme

Here are just a few of the activities and performances planned:

  • Basketry Workshop with Native Hands
  • Tradescant collection slideshow & Tanya Bentham 17th-century Stories and Spinning
  • Boldwood ‘Glory of the West’ 
  • Living history Characters- Elias Ashmole, John Tradescant Jr. (includes walking around the museum)
  • The Garden of Antiquities with Dr Alison Pollard (Talk)
  • Handling table of leathers & quills.
  • Baroque 17th-century DJs with Decadent Times
  • Passamezzo dancers and music
  • Stargazing with Abingdon Astronomy Group on the forecourt
  • Masquerade Mask Making
  • Founding Objects Trail
  • 17th-century Lightning Talks:
    • 7.30 - Dennis Duncan “Index Wars:Nit-pickers vs Windbags“ 
    • 8.00 - Matthew Craske  “Garden of Antiquities”
    • 8.30 - William Poole “History of Science”
  • 17th-century Gaming Tables Whist 
  • Photo booth and make-up station- 17th century yourself
  • Palm reading and Tarot Cards with Dee Vyner 
  • Kings Head Band
  • Swinging Molly folk band
  • Living Painting by William Dobson with Past Pleasures
  • Robert Hooke workshop on his microscopes and published 'Micrographia' (1665) with what he observed, and first observation and description of cells
  • Eaton Messe 1680s bawdy theatre performances