18 May marks International Museum Day, an annual event held since 1977 by the International Council of Museums to celebrate the importance of museums. This year, we’re looking to the future and the opportunity we now have to re-open the doors of our museums to you.
Housed in the only surviving brick-built barrack blocks left in Aldershot, this museum explores the rich military history of the area, telling the stories of both soldier and civilian. The site includes many historic vehicles and the newest addition to the museum is a WWII inspired assault course to challenge younger visitors!
These two venues in the town of Alton are only a short walk from each other and showcase a wide variety of local history. The Allen Gallery houses one of the south’s most outstanding collections of ceramics, with some pieces dating from as early as 1250, as well as a tranquil garden. A few minutes down the road stands the Curtis Museum, home to incredible historic objects discovered in the area, including a rare Roman cup and a remarkable buckle found in the grave of an Anglo-Saxon warrior.
With two museums in the same building, Andover’s museums uncover the rich history of the area from the Neolithic era to the present day. Discover the Andover Workhouse scandal, the impact of local firm Taskers and how religion played a significant role in the life of an Iron Age citizen. The museum also has a gallery, hosting a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions showcasing local art and culture.
The grounds and ruins of Basing House help to tell one of the most dramatic stories of the English Civil War. Once a great house to rival the likes of Hampton Court Palace, Basing House’s loyalty to the crown proved to be its downfall against the might of Oliver Cromwell’s forces. Bring a picnic and explore the site, spot the artillery damage still visible on the Great Barn and head to the viewing platforms to imagine the grand scale of the house.
Hampshire’s only working windmill, once owned by the trailblazing Phoebe Langtry, is situated on a picturesque site which is a haven for local wildlife. Tours are run by our knowledgeable guides, revealing the process of grinding flour from grain. The windmill is currently running a campaign to help carry out vital repairs – all support is greatly appreciated.
Housed in the old Salvation Army Citadel, this local history museum spotlights Eastleigh’s railway history. Discover how the people of Eastleigh lived and visit the gallery at the back of the museum which hosts a changing programme of events and exhibitions.
Having recently celebrated its 20th birthday during the lockdown, when open Milestones Museum continues to delight visitors with an immersive take on local social history. We’re hugely looking forward to re-opening Milestones on 21 May, along with its brand new attraction, Mr Simpson's Teddy Bear Museum, which the team have been working hard to complete during lockdown.
Once a Georgian workhouse, Red House Museum now explores the history of Christchurch with a fascinating range of objects and displays from daily life of the past. The charming garden plays host to some surprising dinosaur residents!
Explore the ruins of a great Roman house, discovered quite by accident in 1942 by a local farmer's dog digging out a ferret! An array of amazingly preserved mosaics can be seen around the site, as well as part of the ingenious Roman underfloor heating system and the outline of the villa's 40 rooms.
The rich history of Fareham Borough can be explored at Westbury Manor Museum, a unique building with several different uses over the years. From the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages through to Fareham’s role in space exploration, the museum's displays are full of interesting local objects, including a Roman curse tablet!
A special joint ticket will grant you access to both of these Winchester museums, only a few minutes walk from each other through the streets of this historic city. The listed Westgate provides amazing rooftop views, as well as offering an insight into Tudor and Stuart history. City Museum tells the story of Winchester’s Iron Age origins, through to the bustling trade and culture of the 20th century.
Situated at the top of Basingstoke town, the Willis museum started life as the town hall. Named in honour of George Willis, a local clockmaker, antiquarian and former Mayor of Basingstoke, the story of Basingstoke is told through stunning exhibitions. The Sainsbury Gallery on the ground floor hosts a range of fantastic touring exhibitions – visit our website to find out what’s coming up.
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