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The Collections: objects, photographs and oral histories

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CARAD took over the collection of Rhayader Folk Museum in 2002 and, until Rhayader Museum and Gallery opened in 2009, CARAD worked with the community to create exhibitions that would reflect the locality and the people who live here.

Amazingly all of the fixtures and fittings that you see in the museum have been made by volunteers. From the unique reception desk made of felt and metal to the individual displays upstairs; all are the result of a community effort to bring the history of the area to life.

All of the displays in the Exhibition Gallery are the result of what has affectionately been dubbed the ‘Museum Boot Camp’. Trying to accommodate everything that everyone wanted to see in the museum took a bit of time and ingenuity! The ‘Boot Camp’ was a great success and we think that you will be equally amazed at what there is to see and listen to. Not every story is told in the way you would expect; there are hidden treasures made with love and care in places outside the two galleries.

Each display in the Museum Gallery focuses on an aspect of life in Rhayader and the local villages. From the magical Elan Valley to the abbey ruins at Abbeycwmhir, the museum tells some of the stories of how our very rural communities have developed between the Herefordshire borders and the vast landscape of the Elan Valley and the Cambrian Mountains.

Under CARAD’s care the collection has continued to grow with generous donations of objects and archive photographs from both the local community and visitors who have historic family links to the area. The number of objects in the collection currently stands at more than 1500.

With such a large and varied collection we are unable to display all of the objects together in the Museum Gallery. However our temporary exhibition programme creates the opportunity to display a selection of different objects with each new exhibition and we also encourage the community to create their own ‘mini’ exhibitions. These add a different dimension to what there is to see.

We welcome enquiries from visitors who wish to see items not currently on display. It isn’t possible to do this without prior arrangement, as most of the CARAD team are part time and may not have the detailed knowledge of where objects, photographs, or oral histories are located. Please call the Museum on 01597 810561 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a visit.

If you are a community group or school we can arrange a guided tour and arts and craft workshops to fit in with your needs. A visit to the museum makes an ideal contrast to a visit to the Elan Valley and we can provide morning coffee, lunch or teatime treats when you book your visit.

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