William Cowper

Cowper’s Pocket Watch – a Musical Movement with Bassoon

William Cowper’s pocket watch, gifted to him by his cousin Theodora, has inspired a  new piece of music for bassoon by composer Lara Poe. Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition (RÊVE) is a project and website which showcases and shares Romantic texts, objects, and places through collaborations between academic researchers, museums,

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The Electrifying Machine

Surprisingly, William Cowper owned and operated an electric shock machine, and used it to treat Mrs Unwin after her second stroke in 1792.  It consisted of a large glass cylinder, a wooden disc and turning handle, a Leyden Jar, a ferocious-looking metal tube with spikes and knobs, as well as

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William Cowper, Cowper's spaniel Beau and the three hares

Cowper’s spaniel, Beau

So familiar is the depiction of Cowper in terms of the three male hares that he reared and kept as pets, Puss, Bess and Tiney, that this frontispiece to an early and extensively illustrated book devoted to Cowper’s Olney may well come as something of a surprise. It shows a

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William Cowper’s Missing Will

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the National Archives at Kew has allowed free downloads of digital records from its website, a concession which will continue for as long as it’s only able to open for a very limited number of researchers. Seizing the opportunity, Trustee Amanda Molcher came

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The Cowper & Newton Story Begins – 250 years

The Road to Olney – The Cowper & Newton Story @ 250 We are often asked how William Cowper and John Newton came to meet up in Olney.  So in 2017, the 250th anniversary of William taking up residence in Olney, we tracked back through all their correspondence and had

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At The Museum

A Peek Inside Orchard Side House

Take a peek inside Orchard Side House as we begin to unveil some of our hidden secrets. Visit the ‘Welcome’ page for a short guide to the other delights we have in store for you during your visit.

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Page from the first edition of the Olney Hymns hymn book showing the first verse of Faith's Review and Expectation now known by its first line as Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace & The Olney Hymns ‘to my dear friends in the parish and neighbourhood of Olney, for whose use the hymns were originally composed;…’ Did you know? ‘Amazing Grace’ was penned by the Rev John Newton during his time here in Olney. ‘Amazing Grace’ was originally titled ‘Faith’s Review and Expectations’ . It was published by John in

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Three Hares Gallery

The Three Hares Art Gallery

The Three Hares Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum building and holds monthly exhibitions.  Previous exhibitions have included artists who work in watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels, drawings, prints, photography, ceramics, woodcraft and textiles, including felt, patchwork and tapestries. Sadly, due to Coronavirus safety measures, the Gallery is currently only open to

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Flower & Summer House Gardens

Visit our tranquil & historic Gardens. William Cowper was an innovative gardener at a time when seeds & plants were arriving from North America. Find out more here, including a plan of the gardens.

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Book Museum Tickets

Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

(Follow our social media accounts or check back here for further opening days & times as they become available)