Visiting Banbury Museum
With three galleries and a stunning position overlooking the Oxford Canal and vibrant temporary exhibition and events programme, Banbury Museum has a wealth of family activities to delight and inspire. There is also a museum shop offering local produced gifts and crafts – details below.
The Civil War, plush manufacturing, the Victorian market town, costume from the 17th century to the present day and the Oxford Canal: these are just some of the stories illustrated in the museum’s galleries. There are also regularly changing exhibitions and activities to ensure that there is always something new to see and do.
Plan your visit, find out what’s on, and search the Banbury Historical Society archive, which offers over 50 years of research online.
Banbury Museum opened in 2002
Our Museum’s origin stretches back to the 1940s when a collection of historic exhibits were displayed in the town’s library in Marlborough Rd. In 1980, the collection was moved to 8 Horsefair, overlooking Banbury Cross. This historic building, originally built for Banbury’s Poor Law Guardians, provided a home for the Museum until 1999.
A town centre redevelopment at Castle Quay provided the opportunity to build a new museum, purposed designed, with more space for displays and activities, in a great canal-side location. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the community, the new Museum, designed by ECD Architects of London, opened in September 2002.
From the 1940s until 2013, the museums in Banbury have been provided by the Local Authority. An exciting new chapter opened in November 2013, when a new charity, The Banbury Museum Trust, took full responsibility for the Museum. A new period of development has begun.
The Museum Shop
Not your average museum shop; our team have selected the best of local craftspeople and artists to bring your our ‘Handcrafted’ range. This showcases local craftwork including jewellery, textiles and ceramics; the perfect choice for a unique present or special occasion.
Browse our range of contemporary gifts, museum souvenirs, history books, cards, as well as the world famous, locally produced Banbury Cake and profits from the Banbury Museum shop go directly back to Banbury Museum and support their work.