West Berkshire Museum

Museum exhibition on metal detecting finds

The West Berkshire Museum is housed in 2 of Newbury’s most historical buildings – the 17th century Cloth Hall and old Granary/Corn Stores. Despite the age of the building the museum has been cleverly designed and feels modern and spacious. The permanent exhibition tells the story of West Berkshire, from the people who’ve lived there to major historical events.

boy stood next to injured soldier manequinn at West Berkshire Museum

You can learn all about the Greenham Common protests, Battle of Newbury and more. A large interactive map shows you various landmarks in the area too.

interactive map at West Berkshire Museum

Over the summer holidays there is a kids trail to do featuring Ignite the Dragon. There are also several craft kits available to purchase and take home, including a Roman soldier kit for £1. You can also download the museum’s augmented reality guide onto your Ipad or Iphone for a unique interactive experience for kids in the museum. Simply download the ‘Blaze’s West Berkshire Museum Adventure’ app before you go.

trail sheets at West Berkshire Museum

Upstairs are more galleries including a metal detector exhibition showing historical items unearthed in the area. There are coins, bangles, tools and more. It’s amazing to think what is buried right beneath our feet!

metal detecotr finds in West Berkshire

Currently there is a temporary exhibition upstairs about weddings in different countries and cultures. It was really interesting to read about the different traditions and see the variety of wedding dresses. You can even have a go at designing your own wedding dress!

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 there are no children’s activities, dressing up, etc in the museum at the moment but there is still plenty to see. The museum has some fascinating history in it and the trails are a great way of getting the kids interested. The museum is easily accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs with ramps at the entrance and lifts at either end of the museum. There is also a small cafe if you’d like a hot drink and a cake from the local bakers. Plus, did I mention entry is FREE?! It’s ideal to pass an hour or two on a rainy day.

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly  Yes
  • Disabled Access Disabled parking bays and lift/ramps to all areas of the museum. Large print versions of exhibition labels available. Assistance dogs welcome. Sensory bag available to borrow and sensory map available to download fro the website.
  • Dog Friendly  No, assistance dogs only
  • Refreshments available  Yes
  • Car Park Yes
  • Gift Shop  Yes
  • Baby facilities Yes

Address: The Wharf, Newbury, West Berkshire, RG14 5AS

Price Band: £0 (donations welcome)

Website: https://www.westberkshireheritage.org/west-berkshire-museum

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