Closed For Refurbishment
Please note that the Museum closes for refurbishment on Friday 20 March 2015 and re-opens officially on Thursday 22 October 2015. The Bar Convent is undergoing an exciting transformation as part of the Living Heritage Project. We’re installing a brand new exhibition experience, new gift shop, completing the refurbishment of our guesthouse and conference rooms, and improving access. We are sorry for any convenience that this may cause and look forward to welcoming you to the new exhibition on re-opening.
We have exciting plans for development of the Museum into a state-of-the-art exhibition for the 21st century.
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Our fascinating Museum begins with displays of the Tudor period of persecution with reference to many local families, including the martyr Margaret Clitherow, and the later Gunpowder Plotter Guy Fawkes. It continues with the history of the Bar Convent itself. A central exhibit is the story of Mary Ward, the remarkable founder of the first unenclosed religious order of women, now known as the Congregation of Jesus and the IBVM Loreto, who pioneered women’s education in Europe and struggled to obtain greater freedom for the order to carry out apostolic work.
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The Bar Convent Library specialises in Church History, with a focus on the history of the recusancy period in England and the 19th century Catholic revival. There is also an important collection of about 1,300 antique books dating from 1508 to 1850. The Bar Convent Archives house the records of the Bar Convent’s 300 year history, with earlier Mary Ward documents.
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