Using history to help patients reminisce at Royal Berkshire Hospital

Written by Phillippa Heath, Audience Development Project Manager One important aspect of the Our Country Lives Activity Plan is the strengthening of links with our close neighbours the Royal Berkshire Hospital. As  our Audience Development Project Manager, I’ve been involved in one particular aspect of this partnership: an innovative reminiscence project using the MERL collections as […]

Consuming the fat cows

Livestock portraiture depicting prize animals – cattle, oxen, pigs and sheep – began to appear in the mid-eighteenth century. We derive much historical value from these commissioned paintings through their collective recording of the process of English livestock improvement. It was a period in which livestock was being altered from medieval to modern purposes. In […]

Our Country Lives update

Can you believe it’s Autumn already? Since our last update in May we’ve had an extremely busy Summer finishing our research, laying cement and visiting farmers. Here’s a round-up: 1. We’ve had exciting new research into our objects, such as this shepherd’s surprising connection to Thomas Beecham of Beecham’s pills. 2. We’ve finished the building of our new […]

Volunteers' Voice: Young Volunteers programme

As part of the Our Country Lives Activity plan we have a Young Volunteer’s initiative which aims to encourage young people (14-18) to volunteer at the Museum. We’re working with external partners such as Reading College and Berkshire Youth to achieve this. During the exterior building works the garden was turned into a builder’s village! The […]

Rural Reads reviews: The Bees by Laline Paull

Rob Davies reviews our latest rural read. This September we read The Bees by Laline Paull. The Bees is set within a bee hive and tells the story of Flora 717 a sanitation bee who rises up through the ranks. The Bees has many tropes of a classic dystopian novel: totalitarian regime, secret police, oppression […]

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    The Museum is now fully open, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road


    RG1 5EX

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