The museum celebrates two great men who lived in Olney: the leading 18th Century poet & letter writer William Cowper and his friend, John Newton who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace" (the hymn is quoted on the next page).
John Newton had been a seafarer and slave trader, but became a famous preacher and a spirtual mentor to William Wilberforce, the abolitionist. The museum has a display showing the slave trade and Newton's part in abolition.
The museum also has many belongings of the men which show how they lived, worked and about how their fame spread.
The Cowper & Newton museum is housed in the building that 18th Century poet William Cowper lived and worked in. It has beautiful, well tended gardens and a lovely 18h Century summerhouse (pictured).
More than just Cowper and Newton
There is also a fascinating array of documents, objects and pictures to show how Olney evolved, particularly its past as a centre for lace-making and the boot and shoe industry. A treasure trove of Olney's history through the years.
The town museum is supported by a hardworking team of staff and volunteers who put on an ambitious programme of events during the year.
Disabled access to the museum
There is access for wheelchair users to the garden, and limited access to the house. A portfolio of photographs of the exhibits in the upper rooms is available for those who find the steep stairs from this old building difficult to manage.