Posts By: curator


There’s nothing very Daventry about a Hoover, but this one used to play the radio. There are not many places where the radio signal was so strong that you could pick up the World Service on your toaster or vacuum cleaner in the town, but for generations that’s just what happened in Daventry.


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 »

BBC & Radar history

The information board describing the Daventry Experiment written by Curator Rod Viveash is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum’s permanent collection. No matter what the exhibition, we have to display this board somewhere because we are always asked about the information it describes. On the 26th of February 1935, in a field near Weedon an experiment was carried out to… Read more »

Train station

Daventry railway station opened in 1888 with much celebration and ceremony. To mark the occasion the Mayor and Corporation of Daventry traveled to Weedon in a special saloon attached to the 12.35pm train. It was reported that the Town Clerk took pride of place on top of the engine! The railway, no longer in existence, used to be located to the east of… 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 »