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.


Ironstone Art Prize

25 January 2020 – 15 March  2020

The Ironstone Art Prize is an open art competition celebrating the best of the region’s art in a wide range of media including paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital, glass, textiles and metalwork.

The overall winner, and winner in the Under 21s category are selected by a panel of independent judges, and the coveted People’s Prize is chosen by visitors to the exhibition.

Prizes sponsored by The Artery and Banbury Visual Arts

Ticket Prices

Adult £2.50 | Concession £2.50 | Child FREE |  Art Fund £2.50

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To showcase some of the talented artists that you will find in the Ironstone Art Prize 2020 opening on the 25th January, we are delighted that some of those artists have offered to share a little bit about themselves, their work and their motivation. . We will be highlighting a different Artist everyday in the run up to the unveiling of the Winners of both the Ironstone Art Prize and the U21 category; to be announced on the 30th January. . First Up is... . Joshua Browitt. Joshua is 26 and from Oxfordshire and has had two artworks accepted into the exhibition this year. His piece, 'Ethereal Rapture' that has been shortlisted. . 'My work is intended to create a platform that allows us to reconnect to the natural world as my paintings mirror nature and organic forms. I hold a strong belief that we are biologically harmonious with nature and not superior to it'. . 'My paintings are abstract but not in a conventional sense; they evoke their own atmospheric existence reflecting earth, water, clouds, fog and minerals mirroring a natural environment. Importantly there is a constant interplay between abstraction and nature within the paintings'. . Joshua's painting ‘Ethereal Rapture’ was inspired by images of the moon’s surface, rock accretion and solidified molten rock. It was made using acrylic, oil paint, liquid latex, household paints and lacquers; which allow him to achieve the textures and finish on the painting. . 'I entered the ‘Ironstone Art Prize’ because I felt that it was an excellent opportunity to start presenting my work to a wider audience and I am delighted to be involved in the exhibition' Follow Joshua: IG @joshuabrowitt

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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.

Getting in contact

OPENING TIMESMonday – Saturday 10:00 – 17:00 and Sunday 11:00 – 15:00

Bank Holidays 10:30 – 16:30pm

ADDRESSSpiceball Park Rd, Banbury, OX16 2PQ

What’s on :

SOCIAL MEDIA FacebookTwitter
Telephone01295 236165

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.

OPENING TIMESMon 8.45-17.15 ; Tues 8.45-17.15 ; Wed 10.00-17.15 ; Thurs 8.45-17.15 ; Fri       8.45-17.15 ; Sat 10.00-17.00 ; Sun 11.00-15.00