William Cowle

The Cowle Trust

A local businessman and landowner, William Cowle included a bequest of £4000 in his will of 1897 to provide a museum for the town. Shortly after his death in 1899 the Cowle Museum Trust was established to provide a museum for the people of Stroud and the surrounding district, within the School of Science and Art in Lansdown.

The Objects of the Charity as defined in the Charity  Scheme are:

(a) The provision and maintenance at The Museum-in-the Park or any other suitable premises to be provided by the Trustees of a museum, to be called the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum for the exhibition to the public of a collection of objects and speciments of antiquity, natural history, art, archaeology or science (including pictures, books and documents of educational or scientific interest); and

(b) The extension, enhancement, conservation and maintenance of the objects and specimens comprised in the said collection.


The Trust today

The Cowle Trust continues as the legal guardians of the Stroud District (Cowle) Museum Trust Collection and makes this collection available through a partnership agreement with Stroud District Council. The Council providing the premises, staff and funding for the Museum Service.

The Trust's entry on the Charity Commission website can be found here.

The collection is formed of about 55,000 objects or groups of objects.  More information here.

Trust Vacancies

The Trust plays an important role in safeguarding the collection and information about the landscape and people of the Stroud District for present and future generations.

The Trustees are happy to consider any applications or enquiries with regards to positions available on the board. To this end a 'vacancy brief' has been prepared to provide background and context.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Cowle Trust or would like to speak to us about joining the Board please use the Contact Us page.

Colour-coded object boxes in one of the stores


Did you know?

The museum collections are stored in approximately 3000 boxes like those pictured above. In addition we have many objects which are too big to be boxed and so are protected with tissue paper and Tyvek sheeting. We monitor the light, temperature and relative humidity in all of our stores and galleries to protect the objects in our care.


Website of the The Field Estate of William Cowle Research Project

The Trust's entry on the Charity Commission website can be found here.


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