The Museum is a fine arts and archaeology museum with international collections derived from Britain’s first social history museum “The Abbey Folk Park” (1934-45).
It contains significant and varied collections of;
-medieval, renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite stained glass (including glass from Winchester Cathedral)
-prehistoric antiquities dating back 500,000 years
-Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian and classical antiquities
-Old Masters including works by School of Sassetta, Rubens, Van Honquist, Tintoretto and others
-some fifty 19th century paintings by the Royal Watercolour Society
-Japanese swords and armour; picture books by Shigemasa and Hokusai
-wooden sculpture from Cheveley Manor, a post-Stuart ducal house
-masonry from the Rosary Palace of Edward II (ca. 1320)
-a large collection of British Bronze Age weapons
-12th century sandstone sculptures from Java
-a series of medieval illuminated manuscripts from Europe and Asia and a rare miniature of Charles I following his execution (1649).
The Museum hosts its world renowned event – the Abbey Medieval Festival which attracts over 30,000 visitors and participants to the region annually. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in an unforgettable authentic medieval atmosphere.
The Museum also provides a long established and popular Education Program for Primary and Secondary Students learning about ancient, medieval and indigenous Australian history and archaeology. Our ‘recreated’ dig sites give students an engaging, interactive learning experience that is unique in Australia.
During School Holidays the Museum offers fun activities for families. Each term focuses on an ancient culture and visitors can learn through hands on experience, craft activities, battlefield training and archery.