Relics from Keynsham’s medieval past

Stone artefacts recovered from Keynsham’s medieval abbey will be on display to the public for the first time in two decades as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

Keynsham Through Time is a pop-up exhibition displaying three iconic ceiling bosses alongside 1000-year-old stonework, decorative floor tiles and a new scale model of the abbey, throughout September and October at Keynsham MakeSpace

Alongside the medieval artefacts, there will be a display sharing important stories from Keynsham’s industrial brass mills. Objects on loan from Saltford Brass Mill, including cookware and brass bracelets, will give an insight into Keynsham’s connections with the history of slavery. The exhibition starts tomorrow (September 8th) and dates and times can be found here

Keynsham Through Time is part of Heritage Open Days, a national programme of events to celebrate the cultural heritage of England and its communities.

Keynsham Through Time has been made possible through Keynsham’s Local Cultural Programme, part of the Historic England Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Programme. It has been co-curated by local history groups Keynsham Abbey Working Group, Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society and the Saltford Brass Mill Project working in collaboration with officers from Keynsham Town Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Councillor Paul Roper, cabinet member for Economic & Cultural Sustainable Development, said: “The council is pleased to have worked closely with members of our community in order to bring these significant objects out of storage and onto display. Keynsham has played an important role in our local history since medieval times and beyond, and I’d encourage everyone to come and have a look.”

The HS HAZ is a partnership programme between Bath & North East Somerset Council, Historic England and Keynsham Town Council and aims to make the most of the history and heritage of Keynsham, generating economic growth and improving quality of life in the town centre.

Additional funding support for transportation of objects and installation of displays for Keynsham Through Time has been provided by South West Museum Development.

Local events in Keynsham have been arranged by cultural venues, businesses and community groups with support from Keynsham’s HS HAZ. More information is provided on the Hi Keynsham website.

About High Streets Heritage Action Zones

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

More information about the consultation process (including further research, additional residents and business consultation) and design changes as a result can be found at Information can also be access via Keynsham Library or Keynsham Town Council. 

Keynsham HS HAZ Further Information

Keynsham is one of more than 60 high streets across the country that were successful in receiving funding from Historic England. It was awarded £1.1million as part of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Programme with additional match funding from Keynsham Town Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES). This four-year programme (completion date March 2024) has been match funded by Keynsham Town Council (£40,000) and Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) who have contributed £100,000 from the Community Levy Infrastructure.

HS HAZ is a partnership programme between B&NES, Keynsham Town Council and Historic England. HS HAZ is a heritage led renewal programme, making Keynsham High Street a place where people want to live, work and play. It will enable us to harness Keynsham’s historic environment to generate economic growth and improve quality of life in the town centre.

This will be achieved through four key programme strands: public realm improvements, shop front improvements, community engagement and cultural programmes.

Keynsham Local Cultural Programme Further Information

The £7.4 million High Streets Cultural Programme is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zones initiative, which is currently working over 60 English high streets. It is funded with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Cultural activity funded by the local grants scheme will take place over the next three years, in tandem with the national commissions organised by Historic England. For the national commissions, artists will work with communities and co-produce artworks inspired by England’s changing high streets. Together, the local grants scheme and the national commissions make up the Cultural Programme.