About Robert Owen Memorial Museum
The Museum is in the centre of Newtown, Powys just a few feet from where Owen was born. It tells the story of Robert Owen (1771 - 1858) who inspired the Co-operative movement. He started his working life as a shop assistant and became a factory manager.
He was famous for his socialist principles and for caring for the welfare of his workers and campaigned and lectured throughout his life. In 1812-13 he wrote "A New View of Society" which explained his vision.
In his late twenties, Owen became a partner and manager of a large cotton mill at New Lanark on the River Clyde. He decided to create a model environment, improving the factory and village, he built a school and provided a shop where quality goods could be bought at a fair price. The school curriculum included music, dancing and nature study. Visitors came from all over the world – even the Tsar of Russia.
Owen tried to repeat the success of New Lanark when in 1824 he created a model community in New Harmony, Indiana. The ideal was a village based on co-operation and profit sharing. New Harmony and similar experiments by his followers did not succeed as he had hoped, but his ideas continued to have influence. One group of followers in Rochdale set up the famous Co-operative shop in 1844, and pioneered the world wide co-operative movement.
The Robert Owen Museum will try to accommodate requests for accompanied school visits, but this depends on the availability of one of our volunteers. An educational resource pack can be purchased from the museum in advance.
Simple and advanced level quiz sheets are available for school visits. Teachers are welcome to download them and make copies before their visit.