The history of the Powys is rich and these memories have been preserved by our community museums.
Museums tell the story not only of our communities, but also of those who created them long ago, and their work is still appreciated today.
Powys has a multitude of museums with a difference.
The County Times shares five unique museums that serve their communities and each is well worth a visit.
Please be sure to contact museums in advance to ensure they are open to the public with certain social distancing restrictions still in place.
As one would expect in a museum dedicated to the history of Llanidloes, vestiges of the town’s industrial and political past dominate.
However, the museum is also home to one of the rarest artefacts of its kind in Wales – a two-headed lamb.
The most unusual exhibit is a stuffed two-headed sheep, born in 1912, much to the surprise of a local sheep breeder no doubt.
The museum was established in 1930 and was originally housed in the city’s iconic timber-framed Old Market Hall at the junction of Long Bridge Street and Great Oak Street.
The museum moved to the town hall in 1995 in a space shared with the library.
The museum covers the history of the Llanidloes region over the past 300 years.
There are old photos and artifacts related to the Chartist riots, and a reproduction of a ‘Wanted’ poster offering up to Â£ 100 reward to anyone who could help capture Thomas Jerman, a carpenter, and Lewis Humphreys, a shoemaker, who were released by the Mafia.
The museum also includes artifacts from the town’s 19th century wool and lead booms, including a 19th century Colt revolver used by a Van Mines captain when collecting wages from Llanidloes miners.
Exhibitions at the Llanidloes Museum.
Old Montgomery Bell Museum
A 16th century inn converted into a local history museum by the Montgomery Civic Society.
It is run by volunteers and is the recipient of a Prince of Wales award.
The museum includes finds from excavations around the city and objects from everyday life.
The exhibition presents materials recovered during excavation and consolidation work carried out in the 1980s and 1990s.
The remains of the Battle of Montgomery on September 18, 1644, where the Royalist forces were defeated by the parliamentary forces of Sir Thomas Myddleton, was one of the greatest conflicts ever waged on Welsh soil are also included in an exhibit with armor recovered from the castle well.
Old Bell Museum. Image: Geography.
Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum, Berriew
The Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum is the first museum in Europe dedicated to a living artist.
Andrew had always dreamed of opening a museum to share his unique approach to life and art with the world.
He wanted the museum to be a dynamic space to display examples of the work he has created over the decades and to organize events that would share his vision and skills in the conservation of performances and shows.
It started in 1988 when Andrew and his partner Michael Davis bought redundant squash courts at Berriew and in 1991 the dream came true when the Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum (ALMoS) opened to the public.
Inside the Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum in Berriew.
The National Cycle Museum, Llandrindod Wells
The museum in the Automobile Palace building was officially opened on March 21, 1997 by Tom Norton
It housed the private collections of cycles of Mr. Norton and Mr. David Higman, curator from 1997-2010. The Norton collection was returned to the family on request in 2014
In 1998, cycles from the National Cycle Museum, Lincoln joined the exhibit after the museum closed.
The Llandrindod Wells Museum then resumed charitable status from the National Cycle Museum Trust which had managed the Lincoln Museum.
Based at the Automobile Palace, a highly ornate Category 2 listed Art Deco building, which was built for Mr. Tom Norton senior, from 1911 and originally known as the Sports Palace.
The collection includes examples from the entire history of the evolution of cycling.
National Cycle Museum, Llandrindod Wells.
WH Smith Museum, Newtown
WH Smith’s Newtown branch at 24 High Street is a unique surprise among the company’s many stores.
In the 1970s, a major WH Smith outlet modernization program was underway.
It was decided that a single store should be kept as a living example of how all the Smiths looked before.
The boutique has been restored to its original condition, as it would have been when it opened in 1927.
Modern fixtures have been removed to reveal the original tiles, mirrors and decorations, still in good condition. Oak shelves were restored, replacement tables for displaying books were created, underfloor heating was installed, and tube lighting was replaced with specially designed 1920s-style accessories.
The restoration was a great success and attracted many interested visitors. Three years later, the company museum was established upstairs, on the first floor, in a space that was once a WH Smith lending library.
The museum’s exhibits also explore the distribution of information, the work of newspaper vendors and girls, the use of different forms of transportation over the years, and the history of Smith’s rail bookstores and chain of retail stores. .
WH Smiths in Newtown. Image: Geography.