People in Swindon will tell you there is always something happening at the Coate Water museum dedicated to the esteemed writer, Richard Jefferies, but soon the whole nation will know about Jefferies and the museum thanks to a visit from the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, the results of which will be shown in an upcoming edition.

Museum director Mike Pringle showed antiques expert James Braxton around the museum grounds and was able to satisfy his curiosity about the the museum, the grounds and Richard Jefferies the man.

Mike told the Swindon Advertiser: "It was a great experience and fascinating to see how they script everything in advance, and spend so much time really trying to get the best of everything."

"In each episode, the presenters visit places of historical interest and we’re thrilled they chose us. I can’t wait to see the actual programme."

This is not the first time the museum has made a television appearance - it had a visit from Sir Tony Robinson in 2013 as he explored Jefferies’ rediscovery of the Ridgeway as part of the Channel 4 series Walking Through History.

R Jefferies

Set in the grounds of a 17th-century thatched cottage there are exhibits, beautiful gardens and a whole host of year round events and activities for young and old. The house and maintained gardens which reflect the nature writing that Jefferies created are great fun to explore.

Jefferies was a Victorian writer with a passion for the countryside and the richness of nature that he saw all around him. His writing all revolves around nature, but through many different genres, including journalism for various local newspapers (e.g. Swindon Advertiser, North Wiltshire Herald).

He also wrote essays and articles about nature and society for a variety of publications; children's novels, Wood Magic and Bevis; philosophical offerings; and novels, such as After London.

Inside the museum there is an extensive collection of items relating to Jefferies, mostly on loan from the Richard Jefferies Society. For example, there are first editions of many of Richard Jefferies' writings, the manuscript of Wood Magic and photographs, paintings and memorabilia.

Furthermore, much of the house has been restored to create the atmosphere of a mid to late 19th Century farmhouse, complete with four-poster bed, a diorama of Jefferies as a young boy reading on his bed, and even a cheese room.Many of the exhibits give fascinating insights into bygone times.

Occasionally, they bridge different layers of Swindon's rich history; for example, a plaque placed on Liddington Hill in 1938 (with the support of the then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain) was later reputedly shot at by US troops in advance of their push into Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

The museum hosts an exciting range of activities for adults and children including live music and arts and crafts sessions. Children love exploring the extensive enclosed gardens and wooded area, playing with the mud kitchen and taking part in parent and child nature-based craft activities, before joining in circle time for a story and other fun. The museum cafe sells hot drinks and delicious cakes for adults and children.

For more information on Richard Jefferies and the museum go to