The Buckinghamshire County Museum is a museum in the centre of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire. It displays artefacts pertinent to the history of Buckinghamshire including geological displays, costume, agriculture and industry. The museum also features changing art exhibits in the Buckinghamshire Art Gallery. The museum is housed in three old buildings that have been joined together: a chapel in St Mary's Square, the old Aylesbury Grammar School (before it was moved to its present location) and Ceely House. To the rear of the building, in what used to be Ceely House's coach house, is the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery.
The Bucks history collection contains objects, photographs and ephemera relating to Buckinghamshire people and places from Tudor times up to the present day. The collection is also rich in material connected with domestic and personal life, from building features, furnishings, toys and pastimes to clocks and pocket watches, Georgian glassware and Victorian jewellery. In addition to this there are approximately 30,000 historic photographs in the collection, which provide an evocative glimpse of everyday life in the county and how it has changed over the last 150 years. These include 12,700 prints of Buckinghamshire subjects and places, all of which have been digitised. The remainder of the photographic collection is in the form of glass plate negatives, lantern slides and albums. A particular strength of the collection is the material associated with local trades and industries, such as straw plaiting, brick and tile making and woodworking. Of special note are some 350 seventeenth century trade tokens which give a truly fascinating snapshot of traders in Buckinghamshire between 1650 and 1670.
The costume and textiles collection contains nearly 10,000 items, ranging from 16th century hats to 21st century shoes. There is also one of the best collections of lace and lacemaking equipment in the country, reflecting Buckinghamshire’s importance as a centre for pillow lace production. PersianThe costume collection is drawn from the whole of southern England and is of regional and national significance, containing a number of important individual pieces, groups and collections. Notable are the Alfred Sotheby collection of 18th century men’s clothing and a loan collection of 85 military uniforms from the Bucks Military Museums Trust. The textile holdings include patchwork, quilting, embroidery, weaving and knitted items, crochet and sewn work. Notable among these are a stunning embroidered Persian hanging and a Victorian soldier’s patchwork rug made using scraps of military cloth.
The archaeology collection includes a huge range of archaeological objects found in Buckinghamshire, from prehistoric stone tools, through Roman coins, to medieval pottery. It includes everything related to human activity, from the very earliest people who lived here, over 300,000 years ago, up until Tudor times, around 1500 AD. Although the museum currently only collects archaeology from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, they do have small closed collections of foreign material, notably Egyptology. There is currently an Art of Islam Exhibition and Festival at the museum. The museum is fully disabled accessible and has adapted WCs and induction loop facilities at the reception desk. Two lifts serve the first floor and most door openings are freely navigable. There is a cafe and a walled garden. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2QP
Transport : Aylesbury (National Rail) 5 minutes. Bus Routes : 2, 5, 5A, 6, 7 and 11 stop close by.
Opening Times : Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00; Sundays 12:00 to 16:00 July and August.
Tickets : Museum Free
Tickets : Children’s Gallery - Adults £6.75; Children (5 - 18) / Concessions £4.95
Tel. : 01296 331441