World famous Oxford Ashmolean Museum
comes to Broadway
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, founded in 1683, is the world’s first public museum. With its world class collections, and as a department of the University of Oxford, it is widely regarded as one of the finest university museums in the world.
Amongst our treasures can be found: the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings; outstanding works by Michelangelo, Titian and Turner; the most important collection of Egyptian Pre- Dynastic material outside Cairo; one of the finest collections of Greek pottery, Cycladic sculpture, archaeological material from the Ancient Near East; and the foremost collection of contemporary Chinese art in the West.
The 'new' Ashmolean Museum at Oxford
The Ashmolean has worked in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, the Keil family, heritage groups and other local stakeholders, to transform Tudor House an historic house in the village of Broadway into a new museum: The Ashmolean at Broadway.
The 17th-century house is one of the most important buildings in Broadway. Originally built as an Inn in 1659/1660 it has been extended and adapted over the centuries into a school and private residences. It is located on the village high street.
The target date for the opening of the Ashmolean at Broadway is September 2013 and will display objects from the 17th to the 21st centuries over three floors, including objects from the founding Tradescant collections of the Ashmolean Museum. There will also be a gallery space dedicated to rotating exhibitions providing local artists with the opportunity for displays, as well as education and outreach programmes.
Cotswolds.Info is proud of being the first Founding Corporate Sponsor
to sign up in support of the Ashmolean Museum at Broadway
A Visit to the Ashmolean at Broadway
The display theme of the building will take the visitor on a journey through different periods of the building’s history. Each room will have objects chosen to display the era, and will relate to the local and national history. The room displays develop chronologically as the visitor travels through the building.
On the ground floor, after a ticket desk and welcome area, will be an Introductory Room which will include information and exploration ofthe history of Tudor House and its position in Broadway over the last 450 years. This room will establish the collections to be explored in the galleries beyond.
The largest room on the ground floor will begin with the 17th Century Room. The oldest part of the building was built in 1659/1660, and this room has an impressive fireplace with dark panelling on the walls and beams visible on the ceiling. The display will include appropriate pieces of furniture and paintings from the Ashmolean collections, including a large portrait of Elias Ashmole dated 1687.
The third room on this floor continues through the 17th Century and then upstairs on to the 18th Century, focussing on stone objects and sculpture from these periods.
The largest room on the first floor will have displays from the 18th Century, again with furniture and paintings, but also impressive silver, glassware and ceramics. This room similarly has many original features, such as the large imposing fireplace and the wooden beams on the ceiling in excellent condition but the room has a lighter feel.
The next room is the 19th Century Room, and this is where a number of key paintings from the Ashmolean will find a permanent home.
The second floor is one large gallery in which large well preserved exposed timber beams are set against the white walls and elegant glass windows. In this substantial, bright room will be displays of 19th to 21st Century works and changing exhibitions for works from community and local artists.
The History of Tudor House
With its prominent position on Broadway High Street, Tudor House is situated in the centre of the village on the south side ofthe High Street. The date of building (1659/1660) is marked on the bay window at the front of the building. The house was built as a result of the successful wool growing and wool weaving in the area, and was originally owned by the Wool Staple.
Described as a ‘splendidly monumental building of 1659/60’ (Pevsner), the Tudor House forms part of a group of historic urban properties set directly at the back of the pavement facing the village Broad Street with its narrow green, which gives the town its name. The house forms the prominent triple-gabled centrepiece of a group, with another 19th / 20th century building, later attached to the West.
Tudor House home to the Ashmolean Museum : Broadway
Some of the best 16th and 17th century rural architecture and stonemasonry abound in the Cotswolds, and Tudor House is a highlight example. The floorplan is typical of the period, and the façade semi-symmetrical. The bay window forms a central feature, balanced by the mullioned windows on one side and the door on the other, dating the architecture to the late 16th or early 17th century. The building’s prominent position on the High Street, and its grand façade, contribute to the impression that it was built to represent the wealth and success of its original owners and the wool trade.
Changes to the building’s structure over the last 350 years are thought to be relatively minimal, although it is possible that the bay windows have been altered. The building was refurbished and brought closer to its original state in 1907-09 under the guidance of Arts and Crafts architect Mr C.E. Mallows of Bedford, under the ownership of a Mr B.M. Chandler. Before then, it is believed that the structure itself had never been seriously tampered with. Internally, however, many of the original features had been covered and the original staircase has been removed. At the time of the 1907 refurbishment, there was a stone staircase with cast iron hand-rail, this was taken out during the restoration and replaced with a more sympathetic oak staircase, based on the remnants of the top flight, which remained. The ornate fireplaces remain stunning features in the rooms today.
The Keil Family became the owners of the property in the early twentieth century, and under their ownership, the neighbouring buildings were successfully used as Antiques showrooms for over 70 years.