Many scientific practices or areas of study that were once considered progressive or novel are now considered pseudoscience and quackery - phrenology included. You may see phrenology head models and head charts occasionally in odd shops, making the notion of the practice seem a bit “hipster”, but phrenology was as dubious as it was intriguing.... Continue Reading →

The highly respected Robert Galbraith was Ashburton mayor from 1915-1931. It was his misfortune to be the sitting mayor during and after The Great War. His story is linked to how the War Memorial in Baring Square came about. It is a classic story of debate, intrigue, politics, delay and money. Letters to the Editor,... Continue Reading →

From Ethiopia to Ashburton – with thanks

Ashburton Museum’s collections are extensive. Recently, a re-examination of a small part of the natural history collection and its associated records unearthed a remarkable and exquisite stone hand axe. It is fashioned - perhaps by one of our ancestors – about 80,000 years ago, on the north east shore of Lake Langano, Ethiopia. Lake Langano... Continue Reading →

A Missionary Caravan

At Ashburton Museum we are always receiving new objects and archival material into the collection. When images are donated we scan these so that we have a digital record. Once each image is scanned it becomes part of our digital collection. This collection is an important community resource. Scanning means we can make the collection... Continue Reading →

The Queen visits Ashburton 1954

The Royal Tour of 1953-54 was a meticulously planned and much-anticipated event. Three earlier royal tours by the Queen’s father, George VI, had been halted. Firstly by war in 1940, then by the monarch’s poor health in 1949 and 1952. For that last tour, the King was again too unwell to travel. It was then decided... Continue Reading →

The Billy Thomas Archive

Ashburton is known for its many beautiful houses - most in a Cape Cod style, designed from 1923 by local architect William ‘Billy’ Thomas (Born Wakanui 1891, died Ashburton 1967), who was later joined in practice by his business partner Garner Hannaford (Hank) Ward. The Billy Thomas Archive is held at Ashburton Museum - it forms a unique... Continue Reading →

Researching Your House

Have you ever wondered who has lived in your house? When it was built or altered? Who was the builder, architect or owner? Or what the house or garden looked like in the past? Who else has called your house their home? Often it’s our neighbours who know most about our home. They remember the... Continue Reading →

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