The Bar Convent Museum outlines the early history of Christianity in the North of England and tells the story of Mary Ward, foundress of a religious congregation formerly known as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and now renamed the Congregation of Jesus. She was a pioneer both of women's education and apostolic religious orders for women. Her fascinating life story is told in a series of 50 pictures, which are reproduced in the Museum. They illustrate her search for a way to serve God, the Church and her countrymen and women, in a period of religious persecution and wars in Europe. Mary died in 1645 during the Civil War in England, but after her death her companions continued her work. The design of the beautiful Bar Convent Chapel is displayed in the Museum and further information about the chapel can be found on our History page. The Bar Convent Gallery is equipped to display exhibitions from a wide range of interests. A 45 minute video (spoken by Dame Judi Dench) covering the history of the Bar Convent is available for viewing. Collections, displays of art or ceramics are held from time to time. Interested parties should contact the Bar Convent. The Crucifixion by Eustache Le Soeur (1616/17:1665) was sold to the National Gallery in 1994 for the support of the Bar Convent. A copy is on display in the Gallery. The Bar Convent's extensive archives and library together form a Catholic Study and Research Centre.
Museum & Convent Tours: Monday to Friday at 10:30 and 14:30 except for Bank Holidays. Closed Bank Holidays, throughout Easter and 20 December - 3 January. Large groups should phone and book in advance.
Admission to the Museum, Gallery and Chapel is FREE to all visitors.
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