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Cowper & Newton Museum

Orchard Side, Market Place, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 4AJ

cowper & newton museum

Experience this house

Visit

Free for members
Facilities
  • Accessible loos
  • Facilities for children
  • No parking
  • Picnic area
  • Shop
Accessibility

The House has limited access for wheelchair users but the Viper Barn & Courtyard are accessible.  Three rooms in Cowper’s house (Orchard Side) are accessible via two or three steps, thereafter the museum is over 3 floors and 6 flights of stairs. A portfolio of photographs of the exhibits in the upper rooms is available & videos about the museum are available to watch in the Reception area & Viper Barn.

Some paths in the gardens are narrow or uneven underfoot.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical detection dogs are allowed in the museum and gardens. No other dogs are permitted inside the building or beyond the Courtyard.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.
The Cowper & Newton Museum on the Market Place in Olney, was home to William Cowper. Together with John Newton, ex-slave trader, curate and author of Amazing Grace, they wrote the famous Olney Hymns.

Relive Georgian life in Olney – The Home of Amazing Grace. Historic townhouse, tranquil gardens and some of the greatest stories of the era.

Welcome to Orchard Side house, which from 1768 to 1786 was the home of William Cowper, renowned 18th century poet. Walk back in time through rooms featuring numerous personal artefacts and belongings. Discover William’s comic sense of humour, the highs and lows in his life and his love of gardening and animals  – especially his pet hares.

Discover how his friend John Newton’s life and personal experience inspired him to write the world’s most famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ here in Olney. Find out about his time as a slave ship captain, as a captive himself; how he became curate of the parish church, his involvement in the abolition of slavery and his spiritual influence on William Wilberforce.

Visit the Museum Gardens of the eighteenth-century poet, William Cowper, a passionate gardener living at a time when seeds and plants were arriving from North America. From his letters and poems, many of which were written here at Orchard Side, we know many of the plants he grew. He said of himself:
‘Gardening was of all employments that in which I succeeded best.’

The Three Hares Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum building and holds monthly exhibitions. Past exhibitions have included artists who work in watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels, drawings, prints, photography, ceramics, woodcraft and textiles, including felt, patchwork and tapestries.

We have a shop and one toilet. For all upcoming events and gallery exhibitions, please refer to our website. Children’s trails with a small prize, available to purchase from the shop.

Olney – a day out destination, is a quiet market town and a short drive from the heart of Milton Keynes, once a centre of lace-making and more recently the boot and shoe industry. It is a thriving, bustling community with plenty to offer visitors and best known for its annual Pancake Race established 1445.

The 14th Century church of St Peter and St Paul, with its 200ft spire dominates the entrance to the town. Emberton Park and Clifton meadows are near by offering river and lakeside walks, canoeing, fishing and many other activities.

Please refer to our ‘Visit Us’ page on our website and scroll down to ‘Getting Here’ for directions and parking.

Opening Times

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

11am to 4:30pm

Group Visits

A booked Group of 10 or more paying visitors:
Group visits are very popular so please ensure you book in good time to avoid disappointment.

For school visits please go to our ‘School Visits’ page on our website.

For visits to St Peter & St Paul Church contact the church directly.

Museum and Gardens Adults:  £7 pp (No concessions)
Gardens only Adult: £3.50 pp
Tour Guide fee:  £25.00
Group organiser admission:  Free
Children under 16 years accompanied by an adult:  Free
For all other rates please contact our House Manager

To make your provisional booking, please contact our House Manager on 01234 711516 or by email to info@cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk

You can also download a group booking form from our website.

Accessibility

The House has limited access for wheelchair users but the Viper Barn & Courtyard are accessible.  Three rooms in Cowper’s house (Orchard Side) are accessible via two or three steps, thereafter the museum is over 3 floors and 6 flights of stairs. A portfolio of photographs of the exhibits in the upper rooms is available & videos about the museum are available to watch in the Reception area & Viper Barn.

Some paths in the gardens are narrow or uneven underfoot.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical detection dogs are allowed in the museum and gardens. No other dogs are permitted inside the building or beyond the Courtyard.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Getting here

Orchard Side, Market Place, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 4AJ

Please refer to our website, and click the page ‘Visit Us’ for information on ‘Getting here’ (scroll down to the bottom).

cowper and newton on map

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