Posts By: curator


Back in the day, you could take the law into your own hands and catch unwanted visitors with none other than a mantrap. Intended largely for surprising poachers and trespassers, mantraps were mechanical devices that would close around the villain’s feet, sometimes setting off an accompanying spring gun. In 1827 mantraps were declared illegal, though allowances for their use were made between sunset… Read more »


These royal charters give us fantastic insight into how Daventry’s town laws were passed centuries ago. The museum is lucky to hold four charters (two under the name of Queen Elizabeth I, one under James I and the other under Charles I). The charters gave Daventry the right to such actions as trading, holding town fairs, collecting taxes and electing officials. They were… Read more »

Gunpowder plot connections

Remember, remember the 5th of November? Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. Well, the very same plot was first concocted just outside Daventry, in the picturesque village of Ashby St Ledgers. In a room above the still surviving timbered gatehouse of a beautiful Tudor manor, the conspirators gathered together to plan the demise of King James I and the blowing up of the House of… Read more »

Train station

Daventry railway station opened in 1888 with much celebration and ceremony. It used to be located to the east of the town centre (roughly where the current McDonalds sits), and the railway ran down along Southway. The station itself was built largely from wood and provided important transport links for workers, school children and various goods. The engine servicing the passengers was called… Read more »

Ball from under mast

This small steel ball was at the base of one of the original masts erected in 1924 for the transmission of the longwave BBC radio service from Borough Hill. Placed between the base of the mast and a concrete block on the ground, the ball gave the mast the necessary flexibility to move with the wind. Incredibly, this little ball could support a… Read more »

Coaching whip

Daventry is no stranger to traffic. Situated on one of the main coaching routes from London to Holyhead, it’s thought that as many as eighty long-distance coaches used to pass through the town each day. Many of the inns along the way were used for stabling the horses and refreshing the travelers. Daventry thus became a thriving coaching town in the 19th Century… Read more »

Kings Quest

Did you know you have an alternative reality? That’s right. Millions of gamers have adventured in the Kingdom of Daventry since 1984. The computer game ‘King’s Quest’ has a huge cult following worldwide

Tennis racket

Bought in the 1940s this is a long way from the hi-tech rackets of today, but sport is nothing new. Its owner Gwen Rintoul used to play tennis on the grass courts in the ‘Rec’ as a young girl. There were no courts at the Grammar School then as these had been dug up during WW2 in order to plant potatoes for the… Read more »

Rag rug

With some patience and a little skill, Daventry homes have been furnished using scrap materials. Rag rugs and patchwork quilts have been a traditional recycling craft for generations. Old clothes and bits of fabric were cut up into strips and pushed through canvas with wooden pegs to create cosy rugs such as this one. Perfect for a cold winter’s night by the coal… Read more »