Keynsham Through Time: The Abbey and Brass Mills

Home Heritage Open Days Keynsham Through Time: The Abbey and Brass Mills
10:00 am 8 September 2023
5:00 pm 24 October 2023

This autumn, discover over 1000 years of local history.

This exciting pop-up exhibition, launching for Heritage Open Days, celebrates two important elements of Keynsham’s history – the medieval abbey and the industrial brass mills.

Come and discover artefacts recovered from the abbey during its 1970s rescue excavations, including three spectacular stone ceiling bosses which have been in store for over two decades. Find out how medieval stonemasons created their designs, and learn how floor tiles were used for storytelling.

From the mills, you’ll encounter a range of brass objects which give us an insight into Keynsham’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. This includes horseshoe shaped bracelets called manillas, which were produced locally and used as trade money. You’ll also hear about some of the lives of ordinary Keynsham people who worked the mills.

The exhibition has been curated by three local heritage groups – the Bristol History & Archaeology Society (Keynsham Abbey Working Group), the Saltford Brass Mill Project, and Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society. They worked in collaboration with Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Heritage Services and Regeneration Team to bring the objects to Keynsham.

Location: Keynsham MakeSpace, 2 Riverside Square, BS31 1HF (diagonally opposite the entrance to Keynsham Leisure Centre)

Opening hours: 10am – 5pm

Long weekends:
Friday 8 – Mon 11 September
Fri 15 – Mon 18 September
Sat 21 – Tues 24 October

25 September
2, 9, 16 October

On Saturday 9 September there will also be family workshops and walkabout performers in Riverside Square and Market Walk.

Additional group visits out of hours available on request: email, and to book.

Accessibility information:
MakeSpace is fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Space inside is limited, so it may be necessary to wait for entry at busier times. There is an accessible toilet. The nearest car park is located at Keynsham Civic Centre. There is also free on-street parking limited to 30 minutes.

This project is part of the Keynsham Local Cultural Programme, a strand of Keynsham’s High Street Heritage Action Zone. It has been funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and South West Museum Development.

Published in
24 August 2023
Last Updated
4 September 2023