The Robert Owen Museum in Newtown, Wales, commemorates the great social reformer and ‘rational religionist’ Robert Owen, in the town where he was born and died. It is the only museum devoted specifically to Owen’s life and work, striving to show the development – and ongoing relevance – of his efforts and ideas.
The Museum is located close to where Owen was born in 1771, and houses a collection of objects, printed material, and imagery relating to his life. From humble origins, Owen went on to exert significant influence in the realms of cooperation and secularism, with many of those inspired by him promoting and embodying the humanist values he exemplified. George Jacob Holyoake, Margaret Chappellsmith, Emma Martin, and Frances Wright were all active in the Owenite movement, drawn to its radical reimagining of society along egalitarian, cooperative lines.
One group in Rochdale, inspired by Owen’s principles, established the famous cooperative store at 31 Toad Lane in 1844, pioneering the worldwide cooperative movement. The Rochdale Pioneers Museum, opened in 1931, tells their story.
Newtown’s Robert Owen Museum is free to visit. Not everything the Museum owns is on public display, so contacting ahead of time is advised.