Past Exhibitions & Events

One on One – the sculpture of Alan Thornhill

Anna Thornhill will talk about her father’s work and show her film Spirit in Mass – Journey into Sculpture. Born in London, Thornhill studied at Oxford before enlisting in the Gloucestershire Regiment in the Second World War. After the war he decided he wanted to work creatively with his hands and enrolled at Camberwell Art School, in south-east London, where he began his lifelong exploration of clay. Thornhill worked from

One-on-One with our volunteers

Join two of our volunteers for an informal talk about how they delved into the museum archive and uncovered many stories, objects and photographs for our 120 years in Campden celebrations. Saturday 21 May at 11am. No need to book. Free with museum admission  


Tuesday 3 May 2022 Court Room, High Street, Chipping Campden. Event organised by Chipping Campden Literature Festival 3.30pm £8 price includes one half price admission to Court Barn Museum                                                 An illustrated account of how Paul Reeves found lost treasures by pre-eminent British architects, artists and designers. These include

Wearable Art: A Celebration of Jewellery weekend

Celebrating a new commission from internationally renowned contemporary jeweller, Vicki Ambery-Smith. Over a three day weekend we will be talking about, watching and having a go at making jewellery. Saturday 30 April At 11am a short informal talk on hallmarks by the former Head of the Assay Office in Birmingham. Demonstrations, throughout the day by jewellers including Vicki Ambery-Smith, Ros Watts, Tim Blades and Harriet St Leger. Screening two films, one on

Campden Celebrates: the Jubilee and 120 years of Ashbee’s Guild

Celebrating 120 years of C.R. Ashbee in Chipping Campden This year marks the 120th anniversary of arrival of C.R. Ashbee in Campden. At the turn of the 20th century Chipping Campden was changing and the population had fallen, in part due to the decline in agricultural work. When C.R. Ashbee arrived in 1902 and took visitors round Campden he would point to houses standing empty and divided up, the windows

Events: Festival of Britain

Saturday 6 November at 11am   THIS EVENT HAS PASSED   Join collector Alec Jeakins on an informal guided tour of the Festival of Britain exhibition.   Costs £3.50 in addition to the entrance fee. Booking advisable, please contact the museum.        

Pioneers exhibition events

Collecting contemporary ceramics discussion and valuation Thursday 15 July at 2pm Join Marijke Varrall-Jones, founder and Director of Maak, for a discussion on CollectingContemporary Ceramics followed at 3pm by a free no obligation valuation session. This event will take place in the Church Rooms, Calf Lane, Chipping Campden, GL55 6JG.A three minute walk from the museum. Pre booking required – please contact the museum. Discussion: £5, Valuation session at from

Pioneers: 101 years of the Leach Pottery

As a young man Bernard Leach spent eleven formative years in Japan and the Far East where he was introduced to the art and craft of oriental ceramics. He became a serious potter and – at the invitation of Frances Home who was setting up a Guild of Handicrafts to work alongside the existing artists’ colony at St Ives in Cornwall – returned to Britain in 1920. With Shoji Hamada,

Bursary Award Winner 2019

Court Barn supports students from Chipping Campden School each year by offering a bursary to help them on their career path in the arts. The bursary is integral to the museum’s aim to promote craft and design and provides an opportunity for emerging artists to realise their full potential. Gemma Clark was awarded the Court Barn Bursary in 2019.  

John Makepeace: An Adventure in wood

31 August – 17 November 2019. John Makepeace OBE is a distinguished furniture designer and maker. Through a collection of chairs, artist’s prototypes and designs, this exhibition looked at John Makepeace’s inspiration and the very distinctive rationale behind each piece.

William Simmonds: The Silent Heart of the Arts & Crafts Movement

27 April – 21 July 2019. The sculpture, carver and puppet master William Simmonds was the central figure in the renewal of the Arts and Crafts movement in Gloucestershire after the First World War.  His larger work was compared with that of Eric Gill and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

The Essex House Press: Poetry and Music

9 February – 24 March 2019. This exhibition explored Ashbee’s favourite poetry and music, including 14 titles of his selection of great poems and The Essex House Song Book (1903-5) which was edited by his wife Janet.

Women in the Arts & Crafts Movement

27 July – 28 October 2018. In celebration of the 1918 Act which first gave some women the right to vote, the exhibition showcases the work of May Morris, Louise Powell and Nelly Erichsen.

Design: Hand Head Heart

13 April – 8 July 2018. The work of nine contemporary designers who echo the rich heritage established by C.R. Ashbee and his Guild, placing great value on work, the joy of craftsmanship and the natural beauty of materials.

Sidney Reeve (1875 – 1943): Artist, designer & silversmith

20 January – 11 March 2018. Sidney Reeve joined the Guild of Handicraft in 1902 to work as a silversmith. He left in 1904 to teach at Leicester School of Art, and worked there for the next thirty years. Court Barn holds a large collection of his drawings.

Cockneys in Arcadia: C R Ashbee in Chipping Campden

7 April – 9 July 2017. This major exhibition of 2017 curated by experts Alan Crawford and Mary Greensted is the first to showcase C R Ashbee’s Campden period. It will include the full range of Ashbee’s work during that time, as a designer of furniture, metalwork, silver, jewellery and printed books. Many pieces held by private lenders have never been on public display.

A Decade of Collecting: Celebrating Ten years of Acquisitions

28 January – 26 March 2017. To celebrate Court Barn’s 10th anniversary we will be displaying objects the Museum has acquired since 2007. The exhibition will focus on those objects currently in our archive including pieces of Campden pottery, books illustrated by Paul Woodroffe and a plaque by Alec Miller. We are inviting nine people from our volunteers, Friends of the Museum, Trustees and staff to choose their favourite piece.

The Essex House Press: Bindings, emblems, illustrations

8 October – 20 November 2016. The Essex House Press books were not just words on the page, they were also beautiful objects. The exhibition explored the handsome bindings, striking emblems and evocative illustrations with which they were enriched.

John Limbrey (1933-2013)

12 December – 13 March 2015-16. John Limbrey was a renowned silversmith, model maker and artist. A contemporary of Robert Welch at the School of Silversmithing at Birmingham College of Art he joined Robert Welch at his workshop in Chipping Campden in 1958. The Tower Goblet and Silver box (1972) seen on display are examples of his work.

Morris and Company Tiles

27 June – 27 September 2015. This stunning exhibition of patterned and story tiles from private collections illustrated the decorative work by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and others.

Talwin Morris and the Glasgow Style

3 April – 17 May 2015. A celebration of the work of Talwin Morris, art director of the Glasgow publishers, Blackie and Son, from 1893. He became a friend of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries and the distinctive elements of the Glasgow Style are reflected in his work.

Arts & Crafts Metalwork

17 January – 29 March 2015. The exhibition showed fire tools and other domestic pieces made in Campden by Thornton and Downer and in the Sapperton smithy of Ernest Gimson as well as more decorative work such as candlesticks and sconces. Pieces by the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft and the Russell Workshops were also included.

Robert Welch: Inspiration and Innovation

19 July – 28 September 2014. This exhibition looked at the inspiration and influences on Robert Welch, his relationship with his customers, the commissions he has worked on and the period in which they were created.

Essex House Press types: C.R. Ashbee and his circle

21 March – 8 June 2014. This exhibition included books that reflect Ashbee’s links with the Arts & Crafts movement such as Beauty’s Awakening and An Endeavour towards the teaching of John Ruskin and William Morris. Books by friends including Ananda Coomaraswamy, Lord Redesdale and Hugh Seebohm and Guildsmen such as Archibald Ramage.

GofH: A century of fine silver in Campden

21 December – 2 March 2013-14. This exhibition celebrated the on-going craft traditions of The Guild of Handicraft and in particular the Hart Silversmiths Trust Project to conserve, catalogue and digitise the important collection of over 3000 drawings produced by Hart’s workshop over the last century.

Arts & Crafts Jewellery: the work of Arthur and Georgie Gaskin

10 October – 24 November 2013. This husband and wife team are best known for their stunning artistic jewellery based on leaf and flower forms. Also shown were examples of their work as illustrators. The Gaskins worked mainly in Birmingham and moved to Campden in 1924.

Winchcombe Pottery: Britain’s most famous craft pottery

4 July – 22 September 2013. Winchcombe Pottery, set up by Michael Cardew, has been producing useful domestic wares for over eighty years. It has always been a team effort overseen by Cardew and then Ray Finch and now Mike Finch. Many potters from Britain and elsewhere have gained valuable practical experience working there.

Reginald Sharpley: A neglected Campden Artist

28 March – 2 June 2013. Reginald Sharpley (1879-1947) was a civil engineer, Guards officer in the War and artist who came to Campden in the 1920s. Here, he painted, drew and made prints, hunted and involved himself in the artistic life of the town.

The Simple Life

31 October – 25 November 2012. A display on the men who were part of the Guild of Handicraft and their families who came from East London to Chipping Campden.

Dream Cotswold

2 August – 7 October 2012. An exhibition of rare, privately owned watercolours and drawings by F.L. Griggs R.A

An Endeavour in Printing

26 April – 1 July 2012. The Essex House Press was a private printing press set up by the Guild of Handicraft. Its aim was to produce books using handmade paper, traditional printing and binding methods and often specially-designed typefaces. Court Barn has the most important collection of Essex House Press material.

Wizard Wheels the Watsonian sidecar

10 January – 11 March 2012. An exhibition showing the sidecar as used in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The Watsonian squire sidecar manufactured in Blockley has become a worldwide best seller and a design classic.

From Sapperton to Campden: a display of work by Norman Jewson

3 – 25 September 2011. Norman Jewson was an architect and craftsman of the Cotswold group of Arts & Crafts movement. He settled in Sapperton in 1907 to work for Ernest Gimson and continued to practice as an architect and designer in the Cotswolds until 1974.

Blossoms of the Arts and Crafts movement

21 April – 3 July 2011. A selection from Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum’s nationally significant collection curated by Mary Greensted. This exhibition looked at different approaches to the use of plants, flowers and animals in the work of C.R. Ashbee, William de Morgan, Fred Partridge, Edith Payne, William Simmonds and Ernest Gimson.

Harry Warmington

A Silversmith’s Life

15 January – 17 March 2011. A display on the life of Harry Warmington, a local silversmith and metal worker, who along with George Hart revived C.R. Ashbee’s Campden School of Arts and Crafts in the 1940’s.

Felicity Ashbee, daughter of C.R. Ashbee

Felicity Ashbee: A life of her own

25 April – 21 June 2009. Felicity Ashbee, the second daughter of C.R. and Janet Ashbee, was born in the Norman Chapel, Broad Campden in 1913. Her death in 2008 broke one of the last direct links with the Arts and Crafts movement.