Talks & Tours

Visits and talks for groups


What we offer

The John Moore Museum offers talks and tours relating to the museum and its collections, ideal for groups such as the WI, Probus, U3A, local history and civic groups. The talks help promote our museum and its collections. We charge a competitive rate with all money made going back into the museum. 

We can present at your group’s meeting place or arrange to give talks at the museum. 

Let us come to you

  • Talks lasts approximately 45 minutes plus Q&A
  • All talks include items from our collections
  • Our needs are simple! A table and for some of our talks, a socket for the projector (we have our own projector and screen if required) plus somewhere close by to park
  • £30 fee plus travel expenses (40p / 60p per mile)
  • It is often possible to adjust the length, content and depth of the talk to suit your group’s interests
  • Talks are given by the Curator, Simon Lawton, and Learning & Access Officer, Kirstie Bingham
  • Talks can be booked either by telephone: 01684 297174 or by email: or

Our talks

  • Beauty in Ugliness: John Moore and his books. John Moore is one of  Gloucestershire’s most well-known writers writing novels including ‘A Portrait of  Elmbury’ a thinly disguised portrait of Tewkesbury and its most notorious  inhabitants.
  • The work of the John Moore Museum, Tewkesbury – Natural History –  Heritage – Living Voices. Simon Lawton will discuss his role as Curator including  the restoration, preservation and conservation of the Museum’s historic buildings and collections.
  • ‘A Bloody Business’ – Taxidermy in Museums. Using items from the museum’s extensive Natural History collection, Simon will explain everything  you have ever wanted to know about taxidermy (but were too afraid to ask!)  from the fascinating history of taxidermy to the ‘stuffing’ process to the  problems of pest control with Natural History collections.
  • Making the invisible, visible: the story of the Old Baptist Chapel, a  17th century Baptist meeting house. From domestic origins to clandestine use by early Nonconformists to its later restoration, this enigmatic building has a rich and varied history. This talk will cover the building’s history, the challenges of research, and the ongoing Old Baptist Chapel Project, 2015 – 2018, to restore and develop the chapel as a new heritage attraction.
  • Tasting the Tudors: Food and drink of the Tudor period (costumed). Why shouldn’t you put your elbows on the table? Who had a better diet, the rich or the poor? Why might rotten teeth get you a husband? Find out about table etiquette in the past, what the Tudors ate and what this tells us about society at the time, why the Tudors drank only alcohol and why drunkenness was tolerated.
  • Birch, Beer and Bibles: Tudor and Stuart Education (costumed). This talk will cover how education changed during the 16th and 17th centuries, the difference in educating boys and girls, rich and the poor, the experience of attending a Tudor grammar school, leisure activities and corporal punishment. Kirstie will be bringing her birchstick so you’d better behave!
  • Midwife, herbalist, surgeon…witch! Women & medicine in Tudor England (costumed). This talk discusses the role of women in medicine with a particular focus on women’s health in the Tudor period.
  • Unusual Cures and Blood Galore! Tudor and Stuart Medicine (costumed). This talk explores the wonderful world of Tudor and Stuart medicine, looking at the role of apothecaries to barber surgeons. Are you ready to face the surgeon’s saw? How about swallowing spiders bathed in butter for your cough?
  • Tudor swearing, sex & loos! The naughty bits not seen in historical dramas. This talk has been developed from whispered questions following other talks: ‘What did women do at ‘that time of the month’?’ ‘What were Tudor attitudes to sex?’ ‘Were the toilets really that awful?’ ‘Were they smelly?’ and so many more. A light-hearted talk answering all those questions you wanted to ask at school but were too afraid to ask!
A group visit to the John Moore Museum
Jemma giving a talk on Tudor food and drink
Mr Fox, one of the many taxidermy specimens at the museum. Please note that all of our furry and feathered friends died from accidents or natural causes.

Tea & Talk

Why not visit us? With three beautiful historic buildings and close proximity to Tewkesbury Abbey, parking, shops, cafes and restaurants, the museum is a great place to visit.

Groups are welcome to visit at any time, Tuesday to Saturday, all year round. Groups need to book in advance.

There are special terms available for group visits including tour/s of one or more of the buildings. This is undertaken by one of our expert members of staff and can be tailored to suit your interests.

Tea, coffee and catering can be provided at an additional cost.

The newly renovated Old Baptist Chapel is ideally set up for group visits. Located opposite the museum and abbey, the chapel has new facilities including a loo, plenty of seating and a kitchenette. It makes a welcoming base from which to explore historic Tewkesbury.

The chapel can also be hired out for commercial bookings. Separate hire costs and terms apply.

Should you wish to find out more, please contact us on 01684 297174 or email

Simon Lawton, Curator, BA AMA MA

Simon is an experienced and knowledgeable speaker who has worked in museums and heritage for all of his professional life. He has held his current role as Curator of the John Moore Museum for the past 20 years. Simon is responsible for running the museum. He works extensively with the museum’s natural history collection and creates the many exhibitions for the visiting public. He also plays a key role in the learning programme, giving talks and tours to adult interest groups and delivering workshops for school groups. Simon is currently leading on the Old Baptist Chapel Project.

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