Hugh Bourne: Pioneer of Science for All!

Royal Society Local Heroes Project - Hugh Bourne: Pioneer of Science for All!

Through its Local Heroes Project, the Royal Society is giving grants to 15 museums across the country to engage communities with the stories of local science heroes, including Hugh Bourne!

Englesea Brook have discovered some amazing new sources revealing how Hugh Bourne's passion for science led him to become a railway pioneer, and science teacher for working class children! 

Come and see the new exhibition, see Hugh Bourne's Physic Garden, and try some hands-on experiments.

You can also see an amazing model of a Newcomen Steam Engine, on loan for this season only from Cheddleton Flint Mill!

Special Local Heroes Event: Sat 8 July (10.30-3.30)

Join us for this special event, when you can see the Exhibition, listen to the talks, discover the remedies behind the Physic Garden, and have a go at some of Hugh Bourne's experiments.

Hugh Bourne - Pioneer of Science for All!

Hugh Bourne is well known as the founder of Primitive Methodism. What is less well known is that he was a Millwright and Engineer, and built one of the first railways - from Stonetrough Colliery to Congleton Moss, in 1802.  He was passionate about Science, seeing it as evidence of the goodness of God, and part of his blessing to us. 

As editor of the Primitive Methodist Children's Magazine (1824-28) he introduced children to science, and encouraged them to experiment with everyday objects.  He inspired children to use their skills of observation and reasoning to explore the world around them.  He saw Science as a Way to God.

He also produced 'Family Receipts', a pamphlet giving cures for common ailments such as rheumatism and toothache, and drew on his own experience of treating a range of accidents from a cut from a scythe, to a cow choking on a turnip!

Progamme for day

Coffee from 10.00


10.30: The Bourne Family: Millwrights and Engineers, with John Anderson

11.30: Hugh Bourne's Primitive Physic, with Jill Barber, our Director

12.30: Hugh Bourne Man of God and Man of Science, with Revd Stephen Hatcher

2.30: Experiments with everyday objects!

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