Housed in Newtown's Edwardian library and council chambers, this sober museum is the best place to bone up on Robert Owen's legacy. The son of a saddler who became a successful cotton-mill owner, Owen introduced radical reforms including a 10- to 12-hour workday, a minimum working age of 10 and schools for his employees' children. Combining plenty of text with artefacts and pictures, the exhibits are rich in detail. The museum's front desk also serves as Newtown's tourist information point.
Owen is considered a founding father of the cooperative and the trade union movements. At the corner of Gas and Short Bridge Sts, a statue and garden herald him as a 'pioneer, social reformer and philanthropist'.