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Tales from the Riverbank

Cartoon image of a row boat on the top of the water, and a variety of large 'monster' fish below

The exhibition, located on the ground floor of Market Hall Museum will run until 18 January 2025.

The ground floor at Market Hall Museum has been completely re-displayed and explores the unexpected and extraordinary stories of life on and in Warwickshire’s waterways, highlighting the increasing importance of the rivers, canals and waterways to us all.

The exhibition features River Monsters that lurk below the water and a look at people’s work and lives along the rivers and canals of Warwickshire from prehistoric times to now.

The displays explore Shakespeare’s link to the River Avon, including Royal Shakespeare Company costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench and David Tennant. Items from the Warwickshire collections are also on display showing river wildlife and fossils from Warwickshire’s ancient riverbeds.

Sara Wear, Curator of Human History, said:

"We hope our Tales from the Riverbank exhibition gives visitors a flavour of the history, sights and sounds of the waterways of Warwickshire. We have drawn from all parts of the museum and Record Office collections, as well as some amazing costumes from the Royal Shakespeare Company.”

Tales from the Riverbank also looks at the communities of those who chose to live on or by the waterways today and their unique stories. Artist Madeleine Snowdon also presents part of her ‘Wandering the Weir’ project with participants exploring their memories and experiences of the canals through photography and printing.

The exhibition is kindly sponsored by Warwick Boats and the Leam Boat Centre. Based at St Nicholas Park in Warwick, Warwick Boats is an independent boat hire company that also runs the Leam Boat Centre in Royal Leamington Spa, and specialises in boat hire, activities, and courses on the water. From family rowing boat experiences to pedalos, paddle boarding, kayaks, dragon boat racing and birthday party packages, Warwick Boats and the Leam Boat Centre offer a wide range of experiences and courses for all ages.

Nikki Mcgavin, Heritage and Culture Warwickshire Development Officer, said:

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Warwick Boats and The Leam Boat Centre who are headline sponsors of The Tales from the Riverbank exhibition. We hope that visitors to Market Hall enjoy the wonderful exhibition and take the chance to get on the water and enjoy beautiful Warwickshire.”

Market Hall Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Entry is free. 

Market Hall Museum is part of Heritage and Culture Warwickshire, Warwickshire County Council’s unique group of Community Services responsible for the county’s museum collections, archives, local studies, arts provision and heritage education services.

The service is planning an exciting programme of community engagement activities and events that will complement the exhibition, allowing people of all ages to learn about the story of Warwickshire’s rivers and waterways. For details on events check out our What's On section.

Date: 25th March 2024 - 18th January 2025 Recurs daily.

Location: Special events

Cost: Free