Amersham through the Ages – a timeline highlighting important events in Amersham’s development.
The Fair and Market – In 1200, a Charter was given by King John granting the right to hold an annual Fair and Market, two essential activities for a medieval town. The Charter Fair is still held in Amersham High Street on the 19th and 20th of September each year.
Medieval Floor Tiles – A number of 14th century glazed floor tiles made in the village of Penn, close to Amersham, have been found locally. This type of tile was used in royal palaces and churches and some can still be found in Windsor Castle.
The Amersham Martyrs – In the early 16th century a number of Amersham men and one woman were burnt at the stake for their religious beliefs, which included their practice of reading aloud from a Bible translated into English. See the page aboutthe Amersham Martyrs.
Local Industries – William Weller started brewing beer in the Amersham Brewery in the 1760s. The company grew, acquiring many public houses before they finally closed in 1929. They were once the town’s largest employer. The brewery buildings were used from 1946 to 1985 by Goya to manufacture toiletries. In the 1980s the main buildings were converted and some demolished and rebuilt as offices. For more information, click here.
Chairmakers, Wheelwrights and Blacksmiths – The museum has a large display of tools and information about local families involved with these essential rural trades. Click here to see two Windsor chairs in the Museum.
Toys in the museum - We have large collection of locally made and dinky toys and we aim to change the displays regularly so that there are lots to see for children of all ages. Click here for more information about Amersham Toys, a local company.
George Ward, local photographer – The museum has a large photographic archive showing the town and its residents. Many of the photgraphs were taken by George Ward between 1880 and 1930.See photographs page. These and many other photographs can be seen using the new easy to use touch-screen display.
Lacemaking and Straw Plait – Two cottage industries that helped to supplement the family income of low paid agricultural labourers by offering work to women and children. Black lace became a speciality of the town, popular during Victorian times whilst fine straw plait was taken to workshops in Luton for making into hats.
Amersham Buildings – from timber-framed to modernist, buildings are a feature of the town. See the wonderful collage of Amersham buildings made by the Old Amersham Women’s Institute in 1980 shown on the buildings page.
Shardeloes – Home of the Tyrwhitt-Drake family for nearly 400 years, the history of the manor of Shardeloes can be traced back to the 14th century. The new house built between 1758 and 1766 was originally designed by Stiff Leadbetter with later features and interior decoration by Robert Adam. Humphrey Repton prepared one of his red books for the redesign of the garden, although it is unclear if his ideas were carried out. For more information, click here.
Workhouse and Hospital – Amersham’s “new” workhouse, designed by George Gilbert Scott, was built in 1839 to comply with the Poor Law of 1834. From the Second World War to 2001 the building was part of Amersham General Hospital. It has since been converted into flats.
The Herb Garden – The museum’s garden leading down to the River Misbourne is planted with traditional plants used as culinary and medicinal herbs. Find out more about the uses of herbs and see our newly restored privy at the end of the garden. See Herb Garden page.