There’s nothing quite like heading off to one of Britain’s great museums at the weekend. It’s an experience that is as entertaining as it is informative, and because exhibitions change so frequently, there is always something new to see. That being said, if you keep going to the same old museum like the admittedly brilliant National History Museum or the V&A, you will be missing out on some of the more obscure museums that litter this island. You wouldn’t want to do that, would you? So, check out these amazing British museums that you might not have heard of before…
Pickford’s House, Derby
Pickford’s House is a unique museum located in the show house that once belonged to celebrated architect Joseph Pickford. The museum was created to showcase British domestic life from the 1700’s right up to the 20th Century. If you’re interested in social history and the history of home decor and design over the years, you’ll be blown away by the museum and its beautiful gardens. Book one of the many excellent Derby hotels and spend some time browsing not only this museum but also Derby Museum and Art Gallery and you’ll have a blast. This site illustrates perfectly that not all of the best museums are in London.
The Dog Collar Museum, Maidstone
Located in Leeds Castle in Maidstone, this museum is home to one of the most unusual collections of historical dog collars. If you’re thinking that spending some time looking at dog collars seems pretty boring, you could be forgiven, but you’d also be wrong. You see, although dog collars today aren’t particularly special, in the past they were much fancier, made out of tough metals and intricately carved. Most of the collection dates back to Medieval times, so they are historical of interest and actually pretty beautiful to look at too.
The Museum of Mental Health, Wakefield
Located within the grounds of Fieldhead Hospital and part of the wider Stephen Beaumont Museum, this unusual exhibition space is home to a padded cell that will give you some clue of what it was like to be detained in a lunatic asylum back when such things existed, Home to an interesting and often disturbing selection of exhibits, many originating from the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum which was founded in 1818, it’s extremely interesting, but not exactly light, You might want to book a local hotel for the night so you can shake off the sense of foreboding that many people feel there in style. The HiFi Club is a great place to do that.
The Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall
This Boscastle museum is the perfect place to pay a visit during the Halloween season, although you’ll have a lot of fun there whenever you go, not least because it’s located in picturesque Cornwall, but also because the museum, which was founded in 1951, and which is claimed to be the largest of its kind in Europe, is home to some of the creepiest, coolest exhibits you’re ever likely to see. From cauldrons and wands to poppets and pins, as well as more than a few ancient spell books, you’ll be spellbound for every second you’re inside its walls.
Do you know of any more interesting, but lesser known British museums that might be of interest?
This is a collaborative post.