history museums in Hampshire & New Forest
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Hampshire & New Forest Museums & Galleries

including civic and independent art galleries and museums in Hampshire & New Forest...

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.

Hampshire & New Forest Museums and Galleries

Breamore House Breamore, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 2DF
Travel back in time and enjoy the country experience of Elizabethan Breamore House and Stuart village, completed in1583 by the Dodington family, 5-years prior to the Spanish Armada. There’s a fine collection of paintings, tapestries, and porcelain, with period furniture crafted from oak, walnut and mahogany. The surrounding 17th Century village (Breamore) is largely unspoilt with many historic thatched cottages; Breamore Countryside Museum provides a fascinating insight into the village. Full-size replicas of a farm worker's cottage before electricity; a blacksmith's shop; dairy; brewery; cobbler's shed; wheelwright's and saddler's shop. The tea barn provides light lunches and teas. The village shop, school, cooperage, bakers, laundry, garage and clock-maker represent recent developments. The museum boasts one of the finest collections of steam powered farm machinery, tractors, barn machinery and historical tools.
Tel: 01725 512468 (Museum ) 01725 512858 (House)
Fax: 01725 512858
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Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8TS
Situated close to the City Centre and the heart of historic Winchester, with its Great Hall and Cathedral, this excellent Museum records, chronologically, graphically and entertainingly, the history of The Royal Green Jackets and its antecedent Regiments from 1741 to the present day. The Museum houses an outstanding collection of uniforms, weapons, silver, paintings and medals, including 31 of the Regiment's 59 Victoria Crosses. Amongst nine battle models there is a magnificent diorama of Waterloo, measuring 22' x 11' with 22,000 model soldiers and horses, plus an accompanying sound and light commentary.

Marking the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, we have The Road To Waterloo Exhibition.
Tel: 01962 828549
E-mail: curator@rgjmuseum.co.uk
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Leisure Park, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6PG

Imagine an open-air museum inside a massive modern building, with a network of streets and buildings based on those found in Hampshire from the Victorian period and the 1930s. Then you have an impression of the size and scale of Milestones - Hampshire's Living History Museum. The 19th and 20th century streets are the perfect backdrop for the County's famous collections. Wander through the network of period streets with shops, and houses. Gramophone and radio dealers, a gas showroom, photographers and a toyshop, are just some of the period shop fronts used to objects that had such a impact on people's lives.
Tel: 01256 477766    Fax: 01256 403922
E-mail: milestones.museum@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk
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tabWHITCHURCH SILK MILLMuseums & Galleries
28 Winchester Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7AL
WHITCHURCH SILK MILL was built on the River Test in Hampshire two hundred years ago, during the reign of King George III. Silk has been woven here since the 1820s. Now a working museum open to the public, the mill produces high quality silks to order for theatrical costume, interior designers and historic houses. Visitors are welcome to try their hand at hand-weaving and explore the textiles. Schools and groups welcome at all times by prior arrangement. Hands-on School holiday activities available for Children and adult workshops held throughout the year. Tea room offers sandwiches, cakes and other refreshments, picnics are welcome and our shop sells unique gifts. Stairlift to first floor only. Disabled facilities available, with ample free parking including parking for the disabled.
Tel: 01256 892065    Fax: 01256 893882
E-mail: info@whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk
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Evelyn Woods Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2LG
Housed in the only surviving brick-built barrack blocks left in Aldershot and built in 1894, these bungalow-type buildings once covered the whole of North Camp. Today they tell the story of daily life for both soldier and civilian since 1854, as Aldershot and Farnborough grew up around the military camp. Why was Aldershot selected to become the home of the British Army? What was life like for the soldiers and their families? Who were the soldiers and units passing through the camp? How did they interact with the local community? From the horse to a 60 ton Chieftain Tank - a brief look. What was it like to live in Aldershot, Farnborough & Cove before the arrival of the Army? What was the impact of the Army on these small rural communities?
Tel: 0845 603 5635See our website

Portsdown Hill Road, Fareham, Hampshire, PO17 6AN
Daily Gun firing, to hands-on children's' activities (school holidays) there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy at Fort Nelson.

After an exciting multi-million pound redevelopment this unique Victorian fort has been transformed into a museum for the 21st century.

Cafe 1871, situated in the new visitor centre is bright and modern with a traditional twist.

Whether seated indoors in the incredible grass covered dome, or relaxing outside on our panoramic terrace, you can enjoy a variety of food and drinks.

We look forward to seeing you.

Admission: free of charge.
Tel: 01329 233734
E-mail: fnenquiries@armouries.org.uk
See our website

Priddy's Hard, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 4LE
A hands on interactive Museum set in the historic former gunpowder and munitions depot at Priddy's Hard, on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour. Priddy's Hard was once a busy Naval Armament supply depot that provided the Royal Navy with its ammunition for over two hundred years. The two-hour tour of the museum includes a stunning multimedia film show set in the original 18th century gunpowder vault. There's a fascinating social history including the story of how 2,500 women worked on the site in World War II. Priddy's Hard is important to the local Gosport community, which not only armed the Navy but also fed and watered it. Explosion has a Gift Shop and Waterside Coffee Shop area open to non-visitors, so please stop by and enjoy the Camber Docks stunning views overlooking the harbour.
Tel: 02392 505603
E-mail: info@explosion.org.uk
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tabWESTGATE MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
High Street, Winchester, Hampshire
The Westgate is one of the two surviving defensible gateways out of the original five that stood in the City Wall of Winchester.

These defences were first laid out around the Roman town Venta Belgarum in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD and the line of the City Wall remained substantially unaltered throughout the Middle Ages. From the 16th century the gate was used as a City prison in which debtors and other offenders were confined. Much later it was leased to a wine merchant and was used as a club room for a pub which adjoined the gate. From the days of its use as a prison one can see names and other devices cut into the walls by the prisoners, including a carving of a 17th century ship. On display in the museum are the weights and measures for the city, and there is a fine painted Tudor ceiling from Winchester College. The roof of the museum can be visited and offers a fine view down the High Street. In summer one can try one's hand at brass rubbing. Access is up steep stone stairs.Hands on activities, childrens quizzes and authentic period costume, for children to try on including armour.
Tel: 01962 869864
E-mail: museums@winchester.gov.uk
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tabWINCHESTER CITY MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
The Square, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9ES
Situated in the centre of Winchester, the Museum tells the story of the city through archaeological displays and local history collections that illustrate Winchesters pre-historic origins, its emergence as the fifth largest town of Roman Britain, and development under Alfred the Great as capital of Wessex and of the Anglo-Norman kingdom.

Its decline in the later Middle Ages with the creation of a new centre of government at Westminster, the Black Death in the 14th century, and the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII.

A revival of fortunes began in the 17th century when Charles II built a palace, and the city's role as a shopping centre and tourist destination in the 19th century. Disabled access. Hands on activities. Quizzes and authentic period costume, for children to try.
Tel: 01962 863064
E-mail: museums@winchester.gov.uk
See our website

tabTHE GURKHA MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8TS
The Gurkha Museum commemorates the services of Gurkhas to the British since 1815.

The story starts with the Gurkha homeland Nepal before unfolding Gurkha military deeds from 1815 to the present day. The displays cover Gurkha service in the old Indian Army which took them to battlefields across the world - the North West and North East frontiers of India, Flanders, Gallipoli, Mesopotania, Burma, Malaya, North Africa, Italy and many more. From 1948 it covers service in the British Army in Malaya, Borneo, Hong Kong, the Falklands, Kosovo, East Timor etc. Over 120,000 Gurkhas served in each World War - 26 VC - their graves span the world in silent testimony to their steadfast courage and valour.
Tel: 01962 842832
E-mail: info@thegurkhamuseum.co.uk
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Haslar Jetty Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2AS
Dive into history at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, go onboard our submarines and meet a real submariner to hear his stories about living beneath the waves. Set on the site on the submarine service's 20th century base on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour, the museum is home to the Royal Navy's very first submarine Holland 1 and the only surviving WW2 era submarines remaining in the UK, the mighty HMS Alliance and midget X24. This family friendly museum has working periscopes, hands on interactive games, the "Horrible Science of Submarines" exhibition and for 2013 a brand new family play centre "Busy Boat Bay". Complete your visit with a frothy coffee and a sticky cake overlooking the harbour.
Tel: 02392 510 354    Fax: 02392 511349
E-mail: enquiries@submarine-museum.co.uk
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tabWINCHESTER CITY MILLMuseums & Galleries
Bridge Street, Winchester, SO23 8EJ
Working watermill. Spanning the River Itchen, this water-powered corn mill has had a chequered past.

First built in medieval times, and restored in 1743, it remained in use until the turn of the last century and has recently been restored to full working order.

The machinery turns daily throughout the season, and there is something to interest everyone, including exhibition, working models, impressive mill-races and pretty island garden.
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Tel: 01962 870057    Fax: 01962 870057
E-mail: winchestercitymill@nationaltrust.org.uk

393 Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 4QL
The famous Victorian writer Charles Dickens, was born in this modest house in 1812 during the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

The house has miraculously survived and is now preserved as a museum dedicated to the life of this important literary figure.

It is furnished in the style of 1809 which is when his parents set up the first home of their married life there.
Tel: 02392 827261    Fax: 02392 875276
E-mail: david.evans@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
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tabD-DAY MUSEUM and Overlord EmbroideryMuseums & Galleries
Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Hants. PO5 3NT
The D-Day Museum was opened in 1984 to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of D-Day. Its centrepiece is the magnificent Overlord Embroidery commissioned as a tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of those men and women who took part in Operation Overlord. The embroidery measures 272 feet and is the largest work of its kind in the world. In the Museum's other displays, visitors experience the sights and sounds of Britain at War - the air raid warden's living room in the Blitz, the factory resounding to the strains of 'Music while you work', and troops preparing for D-Day in their forest camp. The climax of the displays is a dawn to dusk reconstruction of the Allied landings by sea and air on D-Day itself - World War II's 'longest day'. Photo: Visit to Normandy by King George VI Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower, General Montgomery and Field Marshal Brooke.
Tel: 023 9282 7261    Fax: 023 9287 5276
E-mail: david.evans@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
See our website

Cumberland House, Eastern Parade, Southsea, PO4 9RF
PPortsmouth is a very special place for wildlife in Britain, it has many different habitats in a very small area, and at Portsmouth Natural History Museum you can explore all the wild things of the riverbank, marshes, woods and urban areas.

You can learn about Portsmouth's geology and take a look at the Victorian Museum exhibition.

The displays are designed to allow visitors a view of the natural world as they could never see it in real life up close and in depth.

Portsmouth Natural History Museum also houses an aquarium and butterfly house. Although the butterflies only fly in the summer, during the winter you can hunt for caterpillars under the leaves and spot the mirror carp among the weeds.

Entrance to the Natural History Museum is now FREE.
Tel: 023 9282 7261    Fax: 023 9287 5276
E-mail: david.evans@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
See our website

Museum Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2LJ
Discover how life at home has changed over the centuries with the reconstruction of a 17th century bedchamber, an 1871 dockyard worker's kitchen, a Victorian parlour, a 1930s kitchen and 1950s living room. The story continues with 'Portsmouth at Play' on the beach, in the cinema, on the football field and dance floor. The Fine and Decorative Art Gallery features material from the 17th century to present day; the Portsmouth Picture Gallery has a collection of local paintings, prints and drawings, and the Temporary Exhibition Gallery where a regularly changing programme ensures there’s always something new on display. The Records Office is also housed here and holds the surviving official records of Portsmouth City Council from the 14th century; local Anglican and Non-Conformist church registers and records from 16th century.
Tel: 023 9282 7261    Fax: 023 9287 5276
E-mail: david.evans@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
See our website

Bucklers Hard, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7XB

On the banks of the Beaulieu River, in the New Forest, you’ll find the unique and picturesque village of Bucklers Hard where time has almost stood still. Here warships were built for almost a century including Nelsons favourite H.M.S. Agamemnon. The Museum reflects this ship-building tradition and tells the Bucklers Hard story - from its origins as a port for importing sugar cane from the West Indies in the 18th century. Features include: Models of ships that were built for Lord Nelson; A reconstruction of the New Inn; The story of Henry Adams - the master shipbuilder of the village.
Tel: 01590 616203
E-mail: info@bucklershard.co.uk
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tabNATIONAL MOTOR MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO4 27ZN

A great day out for the whole family, discover the Palace House & Gardens on the Beaulieu River in the New Forest, Beaulieu Abbey and how the Cistercian monks lived in the 13th Century. The National Motor Museum has a priceless collection of over 250 motorcars and motorcycles from British Motoring history, plus some rare oddities. Experience a host of rides and drives, with FREE, UNLIMITED RIDES & DRIVES on the mile-long high-level Monorail or replica 1912 open top London Bus. FREE Mini Bikes & Miniature Veteran Cars for the youngsters, and Miniature Motors & Fast Trax, the best in virtual racing simulation.
Tel: 01590 612345

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tabNEW FOREST MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
High Street, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NY

The New Forest Museum, situated in Lyndhurst, the capital of the New Forest, is packed full of displays and activities about the New Forest National Park. It is an essential starting point for a visit to the area. The Impressions of the New Forest National Park film show welcomes you to the New Forest Museum and sets the scene for your visit. There's something here for all ages and you'll find out more about how to enjoy your time in the Forest.
Tel: 02380 283914
E-mail: nfmmuseum@lineone.net
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St. Barbe Museum

New St, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 9BH
Tel: 01590 676969    Fax: 01590 679997
E-mail: office@stbarbe-museum.org.uk

St. Barbe Museum has been established to tell the special story of the coastal strip between the New Forest and The Solent, with its fascinating past and present. The area has seen a thriving salt industry, smugglers landing their illegal cargoes on the coast, and has a long tradition of innovative boat building. The museum's aim is to capture the unique flavour of life in the district and to bring first class art exhibitions into the town.

Grey Rule

Sammy Miller Motor Cycle Museum

Bashley Manor, Bashley Cross Rd, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 5SZ
Tel: 01425 620777       E-mail: museum@sammymiller.co.uk

The World's most interesting Motor Cycle Museum with over 300 machines. Some are the only surviving ones in the World. the Racing collection is of exceptional interest with the opportunity to see these wonderful World Record Breaking Bikes and their history. The 4 cylinder supercharged 500cc AJS, DKW, NSU etc.

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Bettles Gallery

80 Christchurch Road, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 1DR
Tel: 01425 489350

Specialists in contemporary ceramics and paintings. Changing exhibitions of work for sale from nationally and internationally acclaimed Potters and Painters.

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Solent Sky Museum

Albert Road, Southampton, SO14 3FR
Tel: 023 8063 5830     E-mail: info@spitfireonline.co.uk

Home of the Spitfire, Southampton.

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