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South West

This section covers museum collections in the seven ceremonial counties of Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Avon

 

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

They say 'Bristol Museum and Art Gallery has collections of regional, national and international importance. It is one of the few museums to have been awarded designated status by the government – the mark of an outstanding museum.'

 

Cornwall

 

Lostwithiel Museum Association

They say 'This is a local history museum reflecting the agricultural, trade and domestic heritage of this ancient Cornish capital.'

 

National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth

They say 'We want to share with you the story of the people who use small boats and to explore the lives of one community for whom the sea has been an essential lifeline and source of food: the people of Cornwall.'

 

Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance

They say 'Penlee House, Penzance, is the only Cornish public gallery specialising in the Newlyn School artists (c.1880 - c.1940) including Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes, Frank Bramley, Walter Langley and Laura Knight.  Set in an elegant Victorian house and park, Penlee House also covers West Cornwall's archaeology and social history, and offers an excellent café and shop.'

 

Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

They say 'The Royal Institution of Cornwall – the organisation that owns and manages the Royal Cornwall Museum and Courtney Library – was founded in 1818 for ‘the promotion of knowledge in natural history, ethnology and the fine and industrial arts, especially in relation to Cornwall’.'

 

Devon

 

Braunton and District Museum

They say 'The collection reflects the early beginnings of Braunton with particular reference to the Braunton Great Field, one of only two remaining working examples of Saxon strip farming in England.'

 

Ilfracombe Museum

They say 'Ilfracombe Museum is overflowing with curiosities and memorabilia, this historic building houses unimaginable finds from a shrunken head to pickled bats. First opened in August 1932, the original curator was Mervyn G Palmer who started it all following his explorations in South America collecting butterflies for the British Museum.'

 

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery has been actively collecting since 1897. Our fantastic collections have grown due to the generosity of generations of Plymothians who have donated objects. The Museum preserves and displays these collections for the enjoyment of the city’s residents and visitors.

 

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

RAMM cares for a wonderful and diverse collection consisting of over one million individual objects and specimens from all over the globe. They are divided into the following curatorial departments: antiquities; ethnography; natural history, decorative and fine arts. The collections contain items of local, national and international importance, and many are of outstanding historical or cultural significance.

 

Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum and Historical Society

They say 'Visit us and discover the fascinating history of Teignmouth and Shaldon, from a mysterious shipwreck and the amazing story of naval hero Admiral Pellew, to local band Muse. A great day out… there’s something for everyone in our fantastic family-friendly museum.'

 

Topsham Museum

They say 'Part of the Museum's focus is on Topsham's maritime history - one particular showpiece is the River Gallery, completed in 2007, featuring unique historic river craft. Visitors can also enjoy the furnished period rooms of the original house and the Sail Loft with its historical timeline of the town's general history.'

 

Torquay Museum

They say 'When the Torquay Natural History Society was founded in 1844 its members almost immediately realised the need for a Museum in which to display their collections.'

 

 

Dorset

 

Bridport Museum

They say 'The Museum tells the story of the town's history from its origins to the present day with notable displays on artefacts from a nearby Roman hill-fort and the world famous rope and net making industries.'

 

Beaminster Museum

They say 'Our permanent collection displays objects and images associated with local families, trades and schools, backed by a reference section of local books and audio-visual materials. For most of the year we also mount temporary exhibitions with local themes.'

 

Blandford Forum Museum Trust

They say 'Blandford Museum houses and displays artefacts from Blandford Forum and the surrounding Villages. The museum is a community museum run by volunteers.'

 

Langton Matravers Museum, Swanage

They say 'The Collection was begun by three people working quite independently of one another during the years immediately following World War II, to include documents, artefacts and photographs relating to the history of the Parish of Langton Matravers from geological times to the present.'

 

Lyme Regis Museum

They say 'Lyme Regis Museum stands  where Dorset meets Devon on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Built on the site of the fossilist Mary Anning's home, the museum is an architectural gem packed with fascination. Discover Lyme’s history, its geology, its fossils, its artists and writers , from J M Whistler to Jane Austen to John Fowles.'

 

Poole Museum

They say 'Displays range from archaeology to art, from pirates to potteries.  Highlights include the Iron Age Poole logboat, the finest collection of Poole Pottery on public display, and a replica hide where you can view the birds of Poole Harbour.'

 

RNLI Heritage Collection

They say 'The diverse range of objects in our historic collections date back to our foundation in 1824 right through to present day.'

 

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth

They say 'Visit one of the most important and fascinating museum-houses in England. It holds collections of international status and reflects the Victorian fascination with world cultures.'

 

Gloucestershire

 

Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum

They say 'In 1898 the third Baron de Ferrieres, a former Mayor and MP for Cheltenham, gave 43 important paintings, mostly from Belgium and the Netherlands, to the town, together with £1000 towards the building of a gallery in which to house them. This was opened in 1899. The Museum’s collections span 3000 years of history, from pottery belonging to ancient civilisations to household goods of the 20th-century.'

 

Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery

They say 'There is plenty going on at both the Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery and the Gloucester Folk Museum this summer!'

 

Museum in the Park, Stroud

They say 'The Museum is housed on two floors in a Grade II 17th century wool merchant's mansion. Objects and colourful displays along with exciting events combine to celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Stroud District.'

 

Wotton Heritage Centre

They say 'The Wotton-Under-Edge Historical Society and Heritage Centre was established for the preservation and study of the history of Wotton-Under-Edge and its environs.  Housed in a converted fire station and located in The Chipping, the Centre contains a sizable collection of archives, records, photographs and genealogical research material.'

 

Somerset

 

Bath Preservation Trust

They say 'Through conservation, education and networks, we help provide the means to ensure the future success of our beautiful heritage city.'

 

Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution

They say 'The Bath Literary and Scientific Institution (the 'Royal' part came later) was founded in 1824, but was a direct descendant of Bath societies going back to the 1770s. Our first home was a purpose-built building near Bath Abbey which made way for a 20th-Century road scheme, and we now live in Queen Square, on a site originally the home of Dr William Oliver, inventor of the Bath Oliver biscuit and a key figure in Bath's early 18th-Century development.'

 

Community Heritage Access Centre, Yeovil

They say 'Traditionally Yeovil has had a rich past of industry and has an important role to play in the history of South Somerset. Our collections reflect this and range from an extensive photo archive, local history, archaeology and even an internationally significant firearms collection.'

 

Fleet Air Arm Museum

They say 'The Royal Navy operates on the sea, under the sea, on the land and in the air. Welcome to the Fleet Air Arm Museum - representing the flying arm of the Royal Navy.'

 

The Holburne Museum

They say 'The heart of the present day Collection was formed by Sir Thomas William Holburne (1793-1874). In 1882 this collection of over 4,000 objects, pictures and books was bequeathed to the people of Bath by Holburne’s sister, Mary Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882).'

 

Radstock Museum, Bath

They say 'Radstock Museum is home to the collection of the Radstock, Midsomer Norton and District Museum Society and celebrates the history and heritage of the former Somerset Coalfield which stretched from Bishop Sutton in the West to Dunkerton in the East and from Pensford in the North to Coleford and Nettlebridge in the South.'

 

Roman Baths Museum

They say 'The Roman Baths – which is managed by Bath & North East Somerset Council – has been crowned one of the country’s best Large Visitor Attractions in the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.'

 

Museum of Bath at Work

They say 'Housed in an eighteenth century Real Tennis Court, the Museum traces the development of Bath as a retailing and manufacturing centre and, since the seventeenth century, as a tourist and health resort. There are three floors of displays for the whole family including the landscape of industrial Bath and exact reconstructions of factories and workshops.'

 

The Museum of Somerset, Taunton

The Museum of Somerset tells the county's story from prehistoric times to the present day using real objects combined with evocative films, sounds and images, and the voices and words of Somerset people past and present.

 

The Weston-super-Mare Museum

They say 'Come and explore the exciting history of North Somerset from pre-history to the present day. Weston-super-Mare Museum is a real treasure trove that tells the wonderful story of the area's varied and colourful past. Take a stroll around the former gasworks company building or just relax in the attractive palm-lined courtyard cafe.'

 

 

Wiltshire

 

The Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury

They say 'One of the most important prehistoric archaeological collections in Britain, housed in the Stables Gallery, and including many artefacts from the World Heritage Site (WHS) monuments. The admission fee includes access to both the Stables and Barn Galleries. The Barn Gallery (belonging to the National Trust) tells the story of the WHS, its monuments, and the people associated with it.'

 

Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre

They say 'We are an active and friendly community museum situated in the heart of this busy Wiltshire market town.'

 

Cricklade Museum

They say 'The Cricklade Museum was established by the Cricklade Historical Society who are responsible for its maintenance. The Museum is one of 18 supported by Wiltshire County Council's Museum Service and is a key tourist attraction for Cricklade.'

 

Dewey Museum, Warminster

The collection of this museum features objects that relate to the following categories: Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, Social History.

 

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery

They say 'The aim of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is to safeguard, enhance, exhibit and celebrate Swindon’s collections for visitors, now and in the future.'

 

Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

They say 'Come and explore our Museum with outstanding collections that trace the fascinating history of Wiltshire, its environment and its people over the last 6,000 years. The displays feature collections excavated from the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.'

 

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