history museums in Oxfordshire
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Oxfordshire Museums & Galleries

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





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.

Oxfordshire Museums and Galleries

 
blank tabASHMOLEAN MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2PH
Disabled Facilities

One of Britain's finest museums, housing the University's internationally renowned collections of European and Oriental paintings, glass, silver, ceramics and artefacts from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The shop stocks a comprehensive range of books, gifts, etc. The cafe opens daily. ADMISSION FREE.
Tel: 01865 278000    Fax: 01865 278018See our

blank tabOXFORD UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORYMuseums & Galleries
Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW


The Oxford University Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections of zoological, entomological, palaeontological, geological and mineral specimens, accumulated in the course of the last three centuries. The exhibits occupy a large Central Court with its elegant cast iron columns supporting the great glass roof, and surrounded on four sides by Upper and Lower Arcades. They are devoted to the history and diversity of life on Earth and the rocks and minerals that form it. What is not on public display are huge reserve collections that are used for research and teaching. These are organised into four Collections, the Entomological, Geological, Mineralogical and Zoological respectively, each one cared for by a Curator and Assistant Curator.
Tel: 01865 272965See our

blank tabMODERN ART OXFORDMuseums & Galleries
30 Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX1 1BP


The Gallery houses 5 large exhibition galleries, a cafe and a bookshop. The exhibition programme covers 20th century painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, installation and performance from all over the world.
Tel: 01865 722733    Fax: 01865 722573
E-mail: info@modernartoxford.org.uk
See our

blank tabTHE BATE COLLECTION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTSMuseums & Galleries
Faculty of Music, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DB


A rich and fascinating display of some eighteen hundred historical woodwind, brass and percussion instruments; over a dozen early keyboards including 'Handel's harpsichord'; and a unique bow maker's workshop and bows. Workshops and concerts throughout the year. Admission free; guide books, recordings and souvenirs available from the excellent gift shop.
Tel: 01865 276139    Fax: 01865 276128
E-mail: bate.collection@music.ox.ac.uk
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blank tabABINGDON MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
County Hall, Market Place, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3HG
Abingdon is considered to be the oldest town in Britain. The museum collection reflects its long history and includes archaeological finds from Prehistoric, Roman and Anglo Saxon times. The main museum gallery, the Sessions Hall, was originally the court room. Today it is a spectacular setting for a varied programme of displays and exhibitions, concentrating on local history themes and crafts. The classically styled display cases and chairs which furnish the gallery were specially created by the renowned furniture designer, Erik de Graaff. The cases can be moved to the sides of the room, once again allowing it to be used for concerts, celebrations, shows and workshops. Please contact us for up to date programme information. A beautiful mirror frame carved in the 17th century building by Frinling Gibbons, an embroidered smock shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and badges from Abingdon's own car company, MG. Some of these can be seen in displays which line the stairs giving a brief introduction to the history of the town
Tel: 01235 523703
E-mail: abingdon.museum@abingdon.gov.uk
See our website

blank tabTHE RIVER & ROWING MUSEUMMuseums & Galleries
Mill Meadows, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 6LF
The River & Rowing Museum was designed by David Chipperfield Architects to a brief which set out to establish an astonishing Museum. The building is raised on columns above water meadows beside the Thames and is built of exposed concrete and glass with a terne coated steel roof, clad in green oak. The Museum has won numerous awards for its architectural design and innovative galleries, with three main galleries devoted to the River Thames, the international sport of rowing, the town of Henley and the beautiful Wind In The Willows permanent exhibition. There are also three special exhibition galleries, the Riverside Cafe, shop, Education Centre, library and function rooms.
Tel: 01491 415600
E-mail: museum@rrm.co.uk
See our website

Museum of the History of Science

Old Ashmolean Building, Broad Street     Tel: 01865 277280
E-mail: margaret.hauser@mhs.ox.ac.uk     Web: www.mhs.ox.ac.uk

One of the finest examples of 17th-century architecture in Oxford, the building now houses an unrivalled collection of early astronomical, surveying, navigational and mathematical instruments and the largest collection of astrolabes in the world. There are also early microscopes, photographic apparatus and a fine collection of watches and clocks. The former Chemical Laboratory houses early physics apparatus, 19th-century chemical glassware and a small collection of surgical and dental instruments.

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Pitt Rivers Museum

Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PP
Tel: 01865 270927     E-mail: prm@prm.ox.ac.uk
Web: www.prm.ox.ac.uk

This world-famous anthropology collection, founded in 1884 by General Pitt Rivers, is a 'granny's attic' of over a quarter of a million objects which together form a rich illustration of how human beings have lived and thought. Display cases are crowded with amulets, beads, pots, shrunken heads, tools, textiles and weapons, whilst masks peer from high walls and boats sail overhead. All are housed in a splendid, galleried building which preserves a strong Victorian atmosphere.

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The Vale & Downland Museum

19 Church St, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 8BL
Tel: 01235 771447    Fax: 01235 764316
E-mail: museum@wantage-museum.com     Web: www.wantage-museum.com

The Vale and Downland Museum and Visitor Centre is located in the busy market town of Wantage in Oxfordshire, England. The museum has been nationally acclaimed as an outstanding example of community partnership. The range of services is very broad ranging, from galleries interpreting the cultural heritage Vale of the White Horse region, to an Egon Ronay award winning cafe with a delightful terrace and garden. It also acts as a springboard for residents and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside around Wantage.

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The Museum of Oxford

St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DZ
Tel:  01865 252761    Fax: 01865 222555
E-mail: museum@oxford.gov.uk     Web: www.oxford.gov.uk

Discover Oxford's history by visiting the Museum of Oxford - the only museum in Oxford to tell the story of the city and its people from prehistoric times to the present day. The exhibits range from a mammoth's tooth to a 'Morris Motor' car engine. Archaeological treasures include a preserved Roman pottery kiln and whole pavement made of cattle bones. There are six Oxford rooms recreated inside the museum from an Elizabethan Inn to a Victorian kitchen.

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Wallingford Museum

Flint House, High St, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 0DB
Tel: 01491 835065     E-mail: museum@galatham.demon.co.uk
Web: www.galatham.demon.co.uk

This small gem of a museum, housed in part of a mediaeval hall-house, has been recently refurbished. It includes features on "The River Thames through Time", Saxon and Mediaeval Wallingford, with a model of the Castle, a Victorian Street Scene, pub, shop, workshop and domestic area. A walk through Saxon and Medieval Wallingford, including a personal audio commentary and a display of recent local Roman excavations are now in operation.

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Witney & District Museum

Gloucester Court Mews, High St, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HX
Tel: 01993 775915     E-mail: witney.museum@btconnect.com
Web
: www.witneymuseum.co.uk

The reorganised ground floor displays tell the story of Witney's history with special emphasis on the Blanket Industry, school life and ecclesiastical diversity. On the first floor a 1950s kitchen has been recreated and there is also a display on the Fire Service. A changing programme of art and craft exhibitions as well as local history exhibitions in the Bartlett Taylor Gallery on the first floor. Please telephone for current details.

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Fusion (formerly Bloomin Arts)

East Oxford Community Centre, Princes St, Oxford, OX4 1DD
Tel: 01865 245735    Fax: 01865 724317     E-mail: info@fusion-arts.net

Activities on offer at Fusion cover an exciting range of visual and performing arts, available either simply for appreciation, in a participatory capacity, or as practical tuition.

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