Living History Project 2020

Would you like to be recorded for posterity? Do you have a few minutes to write a bit about your life during the COVID-19 lockdown? Or share some photographs of the unusual from this time? Malton Museum is undertaking a Living History Project, much like the Mass Observation during WW2, which has now proved so helpful in understanding how ordinary people lived, behaved and what they valued during that time. We want to know how your daily life has changed. Are you growing vegetables for the first time? How have you been shopping? Have you baked more? How are you communicating with your friends and family? What did you miss most? Is there anything you’ve enjoyed more? Have there been any surprises? As lockdown eases, how is your life now? You can write as much or as little as you like, we have a few questions to help you along but we just want to hear your experiences. You can even report anonymously should you wish. In 50 or 75 years time, our descendants may be fascinated to learn about how we coped! Join in and let your voice be heard!

Open to residents of Ryedale only.

Please apply to for more information.


Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe Blog is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Guest Blog: Experience Malton Museum – a secret gem of an attraction situated in the wonders of Malton in Yorkshire

We’ve collaborated with myhotelbreak. Find out what they discovered in this latest guest post when they visited us here at Malton Museum:

We were in Yorkshire for the weekend not far from the national park and we wanted to experience some local history. A colleague of ours had been in Malton only a few months previously during their hotel break in Yorkshire and they mentioned they visited Malton Museum. It got us really intrigued as they said the museum was a real community driver with an array of really fun and interesting displays on offer.

Let’s find out more…

We had done our research and knew there was a lot of history attached to this attraction so we were interested to find out more. The museum had fallen on hard times but post 2012 the local community came together to usher in a new era to Malton Museum making it an important part of the town once again.

What we discovered…

Malton is rich in history especially with its Roman background. The two displays on offer at the time we visited were the Malton Timeline and the Malton Horse Power. What we also loved about the exhibitions were the detail put into each display. Visitors gain a real understanding of the local economy all the way through to the present day. For those with kids its really great too as there are hands on exhibits which makes the learning experience that more joyful for the little ones, from grinding flour to dressing up.

What else should we know?

Malton Museum is open from April through November on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-4pm. We highly recommend visiting. Its attractions such as this which make you truly understand the towns and villages in which you visit. A special mention goes to the volunteers with their local knowledge which added to the whole experience.

A secret gem of attraction worth visiting time and again.

The Story of Racing in Malton and Norton

As part of our great 2019 exhibition Malton Horse Power, we have just launched a book on the history of racing in Malton and Norton.
Both towns have a long, important and pivotal role in the history of modern horse racing.
With stories about some of the most famous race horses and trainers throughout history, it’s a fascinating read.
Why not pop in to the museum and buy a copy? It’s a bargain at £4.99 a copy.

Malton Horse Power

2019 Season

Here is our design theme for 2019. Malton Museum is now open for the 2019 season showcasing a brand new “Horse Power” exhibition, demonstrating the important role that horses have played in Malton’s history.

Opening times:  20th April – 2nd November 2019: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.

2019 Exhibition – Malton Horse Power

Museum Opens Soon!

Getting ready

Our 2019 Exhibition preparations are in full swing! Only 3 weeks to go before opening and the pressure is on!!
The photo shows one of our Volunteers Glyn, taking down and measuring the old story boards to make way for our new panels.
Of course we still have our own very large collection of artefacts so we will have one room for a new display of those and one room for our Arts Council Funded – Malton Horse Power.
A lot of people are working very hard behind the scenes to make this a great exhibition for our community this year.

We hope you’ll come along to see us.

Lifelong learning team training day in York

Lifelong Learning Team Training Day in York

DIG 2018

This training day was set up using grant money from HLF. It was initially to give the learning team an opportunity to;

  • Spend some time together as a team, which asyet had never happened. Some members of the team work with children and schoolswhile others work with adult groups.
  • Understand how other museums and learningcentres operate and engage with different audiences.
  • To spend time with Christine McDonnell ourmuseum mentor.

The day started with a visit to DIG, the archaeological activity centre of York Archaeological Trust (YAT). It was explained how they work with visiting school parties, the virtual offer and different aspects of activities and displays within DIG.

Over coffee, provided by YAT, we had a very useful discussion with Fran Bennett, the learning and interpretation manager at YAT. She explained how they continue to refresh and change the activities offered and continue to work with students and local teachers to raise awareness of what’s on offer. The willingness of the YAT team to help us whenever we need help was greatly appreciated by the group.

Our working lunch with Christine gave each member of the team chance to explain their role in the team and the offers we have worked on over the last 3 years. We also discussed possible ways of working with YAT in the future, particularly on the Romans. We discussed updating the museum’s offer and activities for children through using technology and audio. Setting up community created display and cases and how YAT work with community groups was also very interesting. Some members of the group said they would like to follow this up back at Malton.

After lunch we visited Yorvik, beginning with the display gallery. Then the trip on the train around the Viking “town” and finally the finds display. It was a very interesting and enlightening chance to visit the new Yorvik centre following the update after the floods 18 months ago. It was explained how they had carried out the emergency evacuation of the display and objects and the processes in order to get the museum up and running in as short a time as possible.

The group then left YAT and met together for a feedback session and discussions about the day, over coffee. We wanted to note what we learnt/enjoyed and our thoughts for the future of the group and the museum in general.

For me, the most important outcome was to see this group of 7 very different volunteers, who had never met up as a group before, all working together as a team. The discussions were very much how to secure the future long term for the museum.

Suggestions were such as:

  • Exchanges of ideas and knowledge between the different groups of volunteers
  • Volunteers to meet up in a relaxed setting mornings which could be run once a month on closed days of the museum togive people opportunity to socialise with other volunteers. To be more involvedwill make volunteers feel valued and encourage more volunteers to join.
  • The group realised the vital role played bythe outreach work in the museum world and making people think in a more modern approach to interpretation of history and the past.
  • The importance of the role of the volunteerin the running of the museum needs to be understood by the governing body. There needs to be more opportunities for volunteers to be involved and kept upto date with what is happening. Also to give volunteers chance to air their thoughts and suggestions. To get more involved means we would keep the newerrecruits and the long standing volunteers.
  • There needs to be a sense of ownership of themuseum by the local community. We need to inspire the people of Malton toinvolved in the museum and secure its future.
  • They are happy to help work on the audiences section of Accreditation next year.
  • How can we help to fill the gaps on what wedo at present?

Thoughts from different sections of the team


We could run CPD sessions for teachers, particularly on teaching Prehistory.
Keep up with marketing our resources and new offers to schools.
Make special offers to local schools.
Run events at the museum to show teachers what we can offer and to Launch new products.
Activities within the new exhibition, using audio to give information.


Community cases, objects and info boards within cases. Try to offer more in the exhibition space for people with sight problems.

Views from a Camera

Malton Goes to Market – A Photographic Journey

In 2016 we invited Malton and District Camera Club to join us in our journey through the stories of two towns.  By responding to the theme of Malton Goes To Market, they were asked to explore the local heritage creatively, to capture a snapshot of life in Malton and Norton.



Times of Change

Currently I am reviewing everything we have achieved in the last 3 years. The biggest change for the museum has been its physical space. When I think back to 2015, the museum had very little investment and the volunteers were doing the best they could  with very limited resources. We had awful and inadequate strip lighting, carpets which didn’t fit the rooms and panels of chip board on the walls – what was lurking behind them was a mystery. Besides the inadequate lighting we had no electrical sockets, we had no grab rails, the existing handrails had a gap in the middle!

I thought I would share with you some before and after photos.


exhibition 1exhibition 1 2




exhibition 2exhibition 2 2






entrance 2






Measuring Medieval Malton

Last summer did you notice small groups of people wandering round the middle of Malton clutching measuring tapes and clipboards? They were the ones who could be heard talking about feet and inches, and making the odd mention of “perches”.

They were volunteers on the Museum’s “Measuring Medieval Malton” project, working with Dr Patrick Ottaway who has carried out similar work in York. Over the winter they have been hard at work crunching numbers and studying old maps, finding out what evidence remains for the way that the Borough of New Malton was set out when it was created in the 12th century, and what, if anything, was there before then.

The results of the project will be presented in a new exhibition in the Museum later in the year and a full report on the project is being prepared which you will be able to consult in the Museum’s new Community Resource Area. Watch out for further announcements.

This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Burgage Plot teamIMG_0423[1].JPG

Update from our A level student on her prototype

A few months ago, Rosie wrote a blog post for us on her development on her prototype for her A level in Design and Technology. The prototype is now finished so we asked Rosie to share her journey .

The aim for Rosie was to create an prototype for  interactive interpretation station which would be used outside or inside a museum. She needed to work with our style guide and think about who would use the station  and how (both adults and children). This is the first time the museum has worked with an A level student on this type of project so it was really interesting to see how the project has come together, and we have enjoyed having Rosie with us.

Here is her story –

I have come to the end of my personal project into producing a product that will benefit all ages to learn and interact with. It has been a really interesting process that has let me develop my knowledge of working in the industry of designing. The help from Malton Museum has thoroughly aided in my evolution in this project.

I reached out to the Museums Development officer, Claire Sawdon. I initially received a great amount of information surrounding the Roman Fort in Orchard Gardens to support my context and knowledge of the area that can be applied to my ideas when designing the project. We also discussed where I should take my project in terms of what form my product should be in. Claire brought up issues and things to consider that I wouldn’t have thought of. This was thoroughly helpful and developed in what I was designing, which improved the function of my final product.

During this project we have had several meetings discussing all aspects of my project from information of Roman Malton, all the way to showing and discussing images of my final outcome. In one of the meetings we discussed the use of their style guideline. This was a great opportunity to be able to use an institutions style guideline. This allowed me to strengthen the professional influences my product had. This was my first time using a style guideline and at the end of this project it was very rewarding to have the client to approve it as a product that could represent Malton Museum.

Claire also gave me an opportunity to go with the Malton Museum team to a research trip. This was highly interesting and allowed me to gain images to show possible other locations for my product. it also allowed me to take first hand images of interactive ideas that could go on my project. This was on top of the creative ideas that Claire had suggested to me and that were used in my design development. This trip also allowed me to meet and discuss my product with other members of the team, whom were all very interested and supportive of my project.

The support from Malton museum has made it possible for me to produce a product that fits purpose, provides an aesthetic style to it and developed my ideas of producing a product that is different to what is already on the market. Due to Claire the product has become a well thought out design that I’m sure many people would enjoy using and learning from.

I’m currently in the process of planning for Claire to come and see the product first hand. This will be an exciting moment as she will be able to see all aspects of the product up close and be able to test the product out as a client, but also as a member of the public that would use this product. Having Malton Museum as my client has put me in a good position in terms of furthering my interest in this part of the industry. This is because I’m potentially going to university to study design for museums and exhibitions. Therefore, gaining experience in the industry through Malton Museum has been a fantastic opportunity. I am very grateful for the support from Malton Museum and specifically Claire Sawdon, who guided me through the project with her knowledge and experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Malton Museum and will maintain contact with them for any future aid they may need.


Madlab WordPress Training in Manchester

Malton Museum Stores

One of our volunteers Chris in the Malton Museum Stores

So far, so Good

We are having another fun day with Madlab WordPress Training in Manchester.

In fact it is very nearly as exciting as a day volunteering in the Malton Museum Stores (as pictured on the right).

The weather is also perfect, as it is miserable, so what better way to spend the day than completely ignoring it, and staring at a computer screen instead.

My Journey from Malton

The travel from Malton started off very well because I was travelling on a Coastliner Bus and this is always a pleasure.

Much less pleasurable was the travel from York to Manchester using the Transpennine services, only because of the service is well over capacity.

I shall attempt to add more exciting post to this website throughout the day so please visit this blog for potential excitement.




Greetings from Manchester

The first step in my WordPress training so far has been logging into the websites to edit it, and after a few attempts, it appears I have succeeded.

Apparently having a WordPress website, and using the blog are different, and now I know the difference.

I expect that there shall be lots of blog posts for you to look forward to in the near future, so until then I am going to make a few notes on the things I have learned, and then hopefully I can put some of this into practice.



Preserving Malton’s Memories

My name is Hannah and I am a Masters student at the University of York. Over the past few months I have been working with Malton Museum on the ‘Malton Memories’ project, a Heritage Lottery funded oral history project which aims to show Malton and Norton through the eyes of those who know it best; the local community.

Since 2016 when the project was initially set up, volunteers from Malton Museum have been working both with members of the local community and visiting tourists in order to gather fascinating insights into Malton and the surrounding area in times gone by. Volunteers from the museum have also worked with Racing Welfare and Slingsby Local History Group, in order to gather as many varied memories as possible. Through this work, we have managed to gather a bank of oral histories and written testimonies which will be included within the display in the museum.

Taking advantage of the fantastic memories we have gathered, I have been working to create a publication which collate a selection of the memories and forms part of the ‘Malton Memories’ exhibition in the Museum. It has been incredible to be given the chance to work so closely with the museum, having been involved in a variety of activities, including setting up a pop-up exhibition which we held in the library to try and improve the visibility of the project within the local community. This proved to be a brilliant opportunity to engage with a variety of people and was an enjoyable few hours which gave us the chance to hear lots of unique and personal stories. I love working with people, so it has been lovely to chat to locals about their memories; one that will stick with me is that of a gentleman who kindly sat and chatted with us, telling us how he used to be the self-proclaimed ‘cab mascot’ for his dad when delivering animal feed to local farms as a little boy. Local farmers would provide cakes and a cuppa for them on their travels and the evening meal was a chocolate bar and a can of pop!

Not knowing the local area very well beforehand, it has been really rewarding to learn about the history of Malton and Norton, particularly through the form of oral history. I find it is always much more interesting to hear about the local area from those who have experienced the town and its many changes, providing a much more personal perspective on the area. ‘Malton Memories’ has been a brilliant project to be involved with and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the museum, it has provided invaluable experience for me and I am extremely grateful to all involved. In my future career I would love to be able to work in a role which involves public engagement and the visitor experience, so working on this project with Malton has been a fantastic opportunity and really good fun!

The project is still ongoing, so please do get in touch with the museum if you feel you have any memories you could contribute! There is also a box in Malton library where you can drop off your written memories if you prefer.

The publication I have produced to sit alongside the project is available to view both in the exhibition gallery, and in digital form on the link below:

Creating the Community Resource Area:Books which caught our eye!

Hello, my name is Janet and I have been asked to write a post about the what I have been working on whilst the museum is closed for winter.

Pam (another volunteer)  and I have been cataloguing and categorising the Museum’s collection of books, and a little library is gradually being created, shelved in two cupboards in the kitchen. It is hoped that everyone will find it interesting and useful for any one wanting to conduct any research. To date, we are still cataloguing the books but the shelves are starting to fill up!

The library contains a wealth of information on many subjects, and one book which caught my fancy is “Women in Roman Britain” by Lindsay Allason-Jones, not least  because of the many wonderful illustrations throughout the text.

The women in question include numerous nationalities (from native Celts to visiting Syrians, Italians.. in Britain for whatever reason) and all classes (from unknown slaves to Julia Domna wife of Emperor Septimius Severus), and the scope of the book covers contraception, birth, death, army wives, camp followers, clothing and fashion, the “new towns”, food and homes, trade with the empire, religions…. and how women passed their days, their duties and pleasures and in some cases their powers and authority. All over a very long period.

The author uses information from all over the Empire to try and give a picture of what life might have been like for women in this most northerly of outposts and how it might have changed during the occupation, the influence of for example the Roman women on the native population. One illustration is of a tombstone at Ostia depicting a woman on a birthing stool assisted by two midwives;  another tombstone shows a lady from Carlisle sitting fanning herself whilst lovingly watching her child playing with a bird. And the hairstyles of these wealthy women look fantastic, to say nothing of the beautiful pins created to keep their hair in place. Did the more affluent locals copy these styles? The illustrations alone conjure up many a question.

Another publication, this time a short pamphlet by Patrick Ottaway entitled “Romans of the Yorkshire Coast” might be interesting to anyone planning a trip to the coast. Ottaway concentrates on the five recorded signal stations, defences built towards the end of the imperial Roman era on the Yorkshire coastal headlands between Huntcliff (Saltburn) in the north and Filey in the south, the three intermediary stations being Ravenscar Goldsborough and Scarborough.

By this later period forts had been built to defend the south east coast from Germanic raiders and there was the defence of Hadrian’s wall and a fort at the mouth of the Tyne. However raids from the Picts and other northerners highlighted the need to fortify the Yorkshire coast and enable warning signals to be sent from station to station and as far as possible to the inland forts (notably Malton).

After a general introductory background to the times, topography, settlements, communications systems, Ottaway describes the individual excavations at the 5 sites, beginning with the discovery of Ravenscar in 1774. Erosion has taken its toll; there may have been other stations now lost, but considerable earthworks and artefacts have been found at all sites.

From the earthworks Ottaway is able to sketch a conjectural likeness of the Filey signal station, but he does concede that it is difficult to determine exactly the form of the stations. From the coins found he is able to work out that the forts were probably built in the reign of Magnus Maximus (383 – 8) and are thus amongst the latest fortifications erected in Roman Britain.

A handy leaflet to carry on your travels.

The research area will be a bookable space for anyone wanting to research. More photos will follow.