history museums in Bristol
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Bristol Museums & Galleries

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

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.

Bristol Museums and Galleries


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA
Tel: 0117 917 2300/ 01
E-mail: boxoffice@arnolfini.org.uk
Web: www.arnolfini.org.uk

In a fantastic waterside location at the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts. Arnolfini stages art exhibitions, cinema, live art and dance performances as well as literature readings and lectures. The converted warehouse also contains one of the country’s best arts bookshops selling gifts and cards as well as a great stock of books and magazines. Entrance to the building and the galleries is completely free making Arnolfini an ideal place to spend some time whether you’ve just got a few minutes or a few hours to spare. Recently refurbished, Arnolfini now has excellent disabled facilities and parents of small children will also appreciate the new lift. Arnolfini has a vibrant café bar which has recently extended its outside seating arrangements to include a quayside bar and barbecue area as well as offering a menu of tapas style light bites and larger meals.

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Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery

Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RL
Tel: 0117 922 3571    Minicom: 0117 922 3573    Fax: 0117 922 2047
E-mail: general_museum@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

Bristol's premier museum and art gallery. The museum houses important collections of minerals and fossils, natural history, eastern art, world wildlife, Egyptology, archaeology and seven galleries of fine and applied art. With an ever-changing programme of temporary exhibitions and an engaging public events programme. The shop stocks a wide range of souvenirs and gifts, and the café provides refreshments in magnificent surroundings.

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Bristol Industrial Museum

Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN
Tel: 0117 925 1470
E-mail: rita_youseph@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

Housed in a historic transit shed, this museum contains all the wonder of Bristol's industrial heritage. Exhibits include Bristol-made cars, buses, bicycles and motorbikes, real aircraft and engines, the story of the Port of Bristol, a print gallery and the story of Bristol's involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The museum's biggest exhibits are outside and include cranes, two tugboats and a fireboat, and Britain's only dockside steam railway.

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Georgian House Museum

7 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RR
Tel: 0117 921 1362
E-mail: general_museum@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

Originally the home of John Pinney, a Bristol sugar merchant, this 18th century townhouse has been restored to its original glory and decorated in the style of the period.  Displays illustrate the lifestyle of a middle-class merchant and his domestic servants and also include a fully equipped kitchen, elegant drawing rooms and an unusual cold-water plunge bath.

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Red Lodge Museum

Park Row, Bristol, BS1 5LJ
Tel: 0117 921 1360
E-mail: karin_walton@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

A 16th century house, furnished in both Elizabethan and Georgian styles, houses one of the city's greatest treasures: the Great Oak Room. The entrance porch, carved oak panelling, carved stone chimneypiece and ornate plasterwork ceilings are all original. A beautiful Tudor-style knot garden filled with flowers and shrubs of the period has been created outside.

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Blaise Castle House Museum

Henbury Road, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7QS
Tel: 0117 903 9818
E-mail: general_museum@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

This 19th century mansion, set in 400 acres of parkland, is home to the social history collection. Discover everyday objects from centuries past including Victorian toilets and baths, kitchen and laundry equipment, model trains, dolls, toys, and period costume.

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Kingsweston Roman Villa

Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, BS11 0LP
Tel: 0117 922 3571
E-mail: general_museum@bristol-city.gov.uk
Web: www.bristol-city.gov.uk

Partial remains of a Roman villa. Collect a key from Bristol's Blaise Castle House Museum. Access is over uneven grass - there is no pavement. No toilet facilities. On-street parking.

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