history museums in Bath
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Bath Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Bath...

Museums long ago ceased to be stuffy rooms full of glass cases containing bits of old pottery and fossilised bones. Today even most conventional museums include changing displays but over recent years there has been a growth in industrial and "living" museums. Here you can learn about local heritage, get a feel for how people lived and worked, the hardships they endured...

Galleries listed include not just civic galleries displaying publicly owned artworks, but also privately owned galleries with items for sale.

Bath Museums and Galleries

blank tabRADSTOCK MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
The Market Hall, Waterloo Road, Bath, BA3 3ER
Establishment Photo
Radstock Museum, based in the former Radstock Market Hall, celebrates the lifestyle of the typical Somerset coalminer illustrating not only the home life of the mining families, but also the vibrant social, commercial and industrial history of the past two hundred years in the local area. With reconstructed coalface demonstrating the miner's hard, dangerous working conditions, Co-op shop, cottage, Victorian Board School and Printing Shop. Displays feature the church and the pub, sporting activities such as football, quoits and pigeon-racing, Friendly Societies who formed the safety net for the mining community in times of need and pit disasters, the Great Western Railway and Somerset & Dorset Railway, which superseded the Somersetshire Coal Canal, both of which impacted greatly on the community, and Radstock's Nelson connection.
Tel: 01761 437722
E-mail: info@radstockmuseum.co.uk
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blank tabVICTORIA ART GALLERYMuseums & Galleries
Bridge Street, Bath, Somerset, BA2 4AT
Establishment Photo
Bath's public art museum is opens all year round, and visited by over 75,000 people annually. A Scottish architect, John McKean Brydon, designed the building in 1897. Opened in May 1900 and a monumental statue of the Queen was placed above the Bridge Street entrance to celebrate her diamond jubilee. The oil paintings date from the fifteenth through to the twentieth century including works by painters active in the Bath area (Thomas Gainsborough, Walter Sickert and J M W Turner). The decorative art collection ranges from delicate eighteenth century wineglasses to a wonderful array of over 150 china dogs. The modern exhibition gallery displays a widely acclaimed programme of exhibitions throughout the year and the Gallery was voted 'best activity for free in Bath' last year.
Tel: 01225 477233    Fax: 01225 477743See our website

blank tabFASHION MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2QH
Establishment Photo
The story of fashion over the last 400 years is brought alive at the Fashion Museum, one of the finest collections of its kind in the world.

The displays include more than 150 dressed figures to illustrate the changing styles in fashionable men's, women's and children's clothes from the late 16th century to the present day.

Personal audio guides in seven languages are included free of charge.
Tel: 01225 477789    Fax: 01225 477743
E-mail: fashion_bookings@bathnes.gov.uk
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blank tabAMERICAN MUSEUM IN BRITAINMuseums & Galleries
Claverton Manor, Bath, Somerset, BA2 7BD

The only museum in Europe devoted to American furniture, arts and quilts. The main collection is housed in a series of 18 rooms, showing how Americans lived from 17th - 19th century. Two additional galleries are located within the grounds, which also feature a replica of part of George Washington's garden at Mount Vernon.
Tel: 01225 460503    Fax: 01225 469160
E-mail: info@americanmuseum.org
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blank tabHERSCELL MUSEUM OF ASTRONOMYMuseums & Galleries
19 New King Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2BL

Home of the distinguished astronomers, William and Caroline Herschel, and site of the discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781. A delightful Georgian town house and semi-formal garden, furnished and decorated in the style of the period and containing the original workshop where Herschel polished mirrors and ground lenses for his telescopes. The Star Vault is a high-tech auditorium showing programmes on astronomy and space travel.
Tel: 01225 446865    Fax: 01225 481850
E-mail: admin@bptrust.org.uk
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blank tabTHE MUSEUM OF BATH AT WORKMuseums & Galleries
Camden Works, Julian Road, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2RH
Establishment Photo
2000 years of Bath's commercial development explored on three floors of displays. Experience how ordinary Bathonians spent their working lives over the centuries in reconstructed workshops, offices and a Bath Stone mine.

One whole floor is devoted to the reconstructed engineering and mineral water factory of Victorian entrepreneur J.B. Bowler and scale recreations of machine workshops, gas lit offices and bottling plant give a unique insight into working life in Victorian Bath. A furniture making works is also recreated. A new gallery '2000 Years of Earning a Living' and charts the development of the city's biggest industry - Tourism, along with Bath Chairs, Bath Buns and Plasticine, amongst other industries. Audio Guides are available without charge.

Group bookings taken all year round by appointment. Opening Hours 10.30 - 17.00 (last admission 16.00). November 1st to April 1st Weekends Only, CLOSED all of December.
Tel: 01225 318348
E-mail: director@bath-at-work.org.uk
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blank tabBATH POSTAL MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
27 Northgate Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1AJ
Establishment Photo
Looking back over 4,000 years of communication, the museum features a life size Victorian Post Office. Colourful frequently changing exhibitions, interactive games and quizzes. Historic talking head video characters, models and collectibles.

The first known posting of a Penny Black, the world's first stamp took place from the City of Bath. "Bath has played a pivotal role in the development of communications, and improving the British postal service. It can boast many "firsts", as you will discover when you visit this fascinating museum. If you can't get to Bath, a in-depth browsing of this website will illustrate how the postal service played a major part in linking areas of the world". Audrey Swindells - founder and secretary Bath Postal Museum.
Tel: 01225 460333    Fax: 01225 460333
E-mail: info@bathpostalmuseum.org
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blank tabMUSEUM OF EAST ASIAN ARTMuseums & Galleries
12 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2QJ

Discover the art and culture of East Asia at the Museum of East Asian Art. Based in a restored Georgian building, this unique Museum houses a fine collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian treasures. The objects on display range in date from c.5000 BC to the twentieth century and reveal the finest achievements in East Asian craftsmanship. A lively, innovative approach is taken to the interpretation of the Museum's collection with emphasis being placed on education. The Objects are on display in five galleries, four of which house the permanent exhibition. The fifth gallery and front hall are temporary exhibition spaces. The shop sells a wide range of beautiful gifts and crafts including ceramics and textiles from all over East Asia. An unusual selection of greeting cards and books are also available. Please feel free to come and browse.
Tel: 01225 464640    Fax: 01225 461718
E-mail: info@meaa.org.uk
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blank tabTHE BECKFORD'S TOWER & MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Lansdown Road, Lansdown, Bath

Beckford's Tower was built in 1827 for William Beckford, one of the nation's most accomplished and interesting characters. He used the Tower as a retreat, to study, to house some of his precious art collection and rare books and to enjoy the commanding view from the Tower's Belvedere. Visitors to the Tower can enjoy climbing the Tower's beautiful spiral staircase up to the luxuriously restored Belvedere and admire the panoramic view over the surrounding countryside. The two-storey building at the base of the Tower houses the museum collection on the first floor. A fascinating display of prints, pictures, architectural models, objects and furniture illustrate William Beckford's life and interests both at Fonthill and Bath. The ground floor rooms have been leased to the Landmark Trust, which has carefully restored them recreating something of Backford's opulent interiors, and offers the space as a holiday flat.
Tel: 01225 422212
E-mail: beckford@bptrust.org.uk
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