Fun at The Firs during February half-term

Edward Elgar in his Ark

Did you know Edward Elgar was an inventor as well as a composer?

In his Ark at Plas Gwyn in Herefordshire he spent many an hour mixing chemicals together to create new and exciting inventions. One day he made the Elgar Sulphuretted Hydrogen Apparatus. What does it do I hear you ask?  Well it syntheses hydrogen sulphide of course!  See the real thing for yourself over this February half term.  Open every day we have a variety of experiments and secrets for you to discover.

Elgar conducting scientific experiments in 'The Ark'
Elgar conducting scientific experiments in the Ark
Elgar conducting scientific experiments in 'The Ark'

Inspired by Elgar the Scientist, why not create your very own slime –What will you invent? Could you be the next Nobel prize winner? Craft £2 (normal admission applies)

Get up close and personal with fascinating scientific experiments that you can try at home! From 17 to 25 February every day starting at 11:30, 12:45, 1:30 and 2:30. Free event (normal admission applies)

Then onto the birthplace cottage you can see Elgar’s own microscope and specimens he cut and sliced, so he could delve deeper into the unknown world of science.

Explore the microscopic world and see things through a different lens. Follow the footsteps of Elgar to discover the scientific secrets he hid at The Firs. Recieve your microscope prize at the start to find the secrets on the trail. Trail £1.50 (normal admission applies)

Imagine the weird and wonderful things Victorians like Edward Elgar were discovering every day over 100 years ago we look into the weirdest and most wonderful inventions of the Victorian age.

The Birthplace Garden will be showing the signs of Spring (we hope!) with snowdrops in flower and daffodils pushing through the ground.

The cottage garden with spring flowers
image of the cottage garden in spring
The cottage garden with spring flowers

Quietly watch the birds feeding on our new bird table, and spot the feeders hanging in the trees in the orchard. You’re likely to see Blue tits, Great tits and chaffinches, and if you’re really lucky, the green and the greater spotted woodpeckers. 

David Birtwhistle’s art exhibition will be in its second month of being displayed in the Visitor Centre, so we will be having lots more spring images of Worcestershire adorning the walls.

David Birtwhistle - Artist
David Birtwhistle
David Birtwhistle - Artist

Our brand new Tea-room will have a new spring menu to whet your appetite; the weather will be just warm enough for you to enjoy food and drinks outside in our courtyard seating area to enjoy the sights and sounds of Lower Broadheath.

Visit the inner sanctum of Edward Elgar’s study and discover what enabled him to write the music that would provide a soundtrack for much of the 20th Century. The personal affects that were the tools of a musical genius sit side by side with the finalised original manuscripts to some of the best-known and loved pieces in the English musical canon. All you need to write a symphony might just inspire you to take up a new creative outlet!

Sir Edward Elgars study exhibit
Elgars study exhibit at the Firs
Sir Edward Elgars study exhibit


A journey through the epicentre of Elgar’s world of inspiration, the birthplace cottage, takes you from the balmy countryside comforts of the Victorian world Elgar was born in to, to the creation of the museum here by his daughter Carice following his death in 1934. This was Elgar’s only wish: That the nation might remember him here.

Touring the Worcestershire countryside in search of inspiration might have taken a lot longer if it weren’t for Elgar’s trusty bicycle Mr Phoebus. Cycling up to 50 miles per day, friends who accompanied him would often recall how lengthy periods of silence on his part were sure-fire signs that his genius was in flow. The striking 1910 Sunbeam bicycle on display here, alongside original hand-marked cycle maps he used might put the modern casual cyclist to shame – but then again it might inspire you to take a ride for yourself.

Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle
Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle
Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle