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Title Abington Park Museum
Description Nestled within the park, visitors will find Abington Park Museum, a 16th century, Grade I listed manor house, once home to William Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Barnard. She is buried in the nearby church and commemorated in the chapel.

The recently refurbished museum is home to the Northamptonshire Regiment and Yeomanry gallery and the Abington Galleries; five themed exhibitions which tell stories of the house, park and area from Doomsday to the present day.

Before opening as a museum in 1899, the manor later belonged to Lady Wantage, a local philathropist and daughter of Baron Overstone, founder of the Natwest Bank. She gifted part of Abington Park to the people of Northampton in 1892, then on her death 20 years later, further land and the manor itself was left to the then Mayor, Edwin Bridgewater, with the Borough Council becoming custodians.

‘Abington is a place to be Inspired’ is a changing display showcasing works from Northampton Museums and Art Gallery’s collection, as well as work by local artists and photography groups.

‘Abington is a place to Live’ tells the stories of past owners of the house, including William Shakespeare’s last descendent, Elizabeth Bernard, and other prominent people who have lived in the area.

‘Abington is a Place to Work’ examines how local people from foresters to shoe factory owners have made a living in the area over the years.

‘Abington is a place to enjoy’ looks at the park and the surrounding area, which have long been used to host entertainment and leisure activities. Some are well known, but others lesser so, such as the three roller skating rinks in the Abington area at the beginning of the 20th century.

Finally, ‘Abington is a Place to Breathe’ looks at the benefits of the park as a public green space in which to play and exercise. 

It also plays host to a range of events. and events and activities take place throughout the year, including food fairs, Easter egg hunts, craft sessions, evening entertainment and art exhibitions. More details can be found on the museums website.