Museum of Oxford

Children in Explore Oxford using our interactive bike ride
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Visit the Museum of Oxford’s permanent Explore Oxford galleries at the front of Oxford Town Hall to discover the story of Oxford and its people.

The Museum also offers an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Based in the Town Hall Gallery, Gallery Corridor and Old Museum contemporary event space, these range from exhibitions by local artists to exhibitions curated by local community groups.

The Museum's Explore Oxford galleries are the only museum exhibition, in a city of world-class museums and heritage offers, to tell the story of Oxford and its people.

Explore Oxford presents our city's past and present in two dramatically different spaces:

Explore the past - Walk into City Engineer, William White's office and step back into 1897 when the current Town Hall was first opened. Rummage through William White's desk drawers to find out what the City Engineer at Oxford Council was working on, check out his drawing table and get an insight into how much Oxford has changed since it was founded around 810 AD.

Explore the present - Continue into the modern Oxford Gallery and take a virtual high-speed bike ride. The four bike rides take you north, south, east and west from the Town Hall taking in the city's highlights as well as to places you don't normally get to see, including BMW's MINI plant.

On your journey, you will meet a wealth of Oxford characters who will tell you the story of the city, including:
•Tamesibugus (150 AD) a Roman Potter who worked near modern Headington,
•David and Licoricia (1200s) Jewish residents of Oxford whose house almost certainly stood on the site of the Town Hall,
•John Davenant (1570-1622) Mayor of Oxford and master vintner who ran the Crown Inn on Cornmarket Street,
•Sarah Jane Cooper (1848- 1932) wife and business partner of Frank Cooper – makers of the world-famous Cooper's Oxford Marmalade.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Mon - Sat 10:00-17:00 Last entry at 16:30
Sat 1000 -1700 Last entry 1630

Closed: Sundays and Public Holidays

Admission charges

FREE ADMISSION

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

School Resource Packs; Language School Work Sheets; Themed drop-in activities and special event days for all the family. Held during the school holidays.

The Museum of Oxford is the only museum that is dedicated to the history of the City and University. For more than a thousand years, Oxford has played a central role in English History.

Before the first student took his first lesson at the University, saints walked here, kings were crowned here and parliaments debated here. Situated closed to the heart of England and connected directly with London via the Thames, Oxford has long been an alternative capital city.

The story of Oxford is vividly brought to life through original artefacts, college treasures, and local characters. The Museum is the essential starting point for any visit to the city.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Industry, Literature, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Alice in Wonderland; Lewis Carroll; Siege of Oxford; Jan Wyck; Oxford University; Morris Motors; William Morris; Victorian Oxford; Temporary Exhibitions;Medieval Oxford; Civil War in Oxford
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Black and white photo of demolitions taking place at the original Westgate site

UrbanSuburban by Rachel Barbaresi

  • 1 October — 17 December 2016 *on now

This artist’s book brings together Rachel Barbaresi’s research of St Ebbe’s in living memory for the 'urbansuburban' project for Westgate Oxford. Looking back to when the Westgate was first developed and beyond to St Ebbe’s as a densely populated urban area of Oxford, Barbaresi has met some of the original residents who have shared their memories of a time of dramatic upheaval.

Follow this project at urbansuburbanoxford.blogspot.co.uk. Commissioned by Westgate Oxford Alliance in partnership with Oxford City Council, Oxford Archaeology and the Museum of Oxford. For further information visit: westgateoxford.co.uk/arts

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Entry to the museum is free

Website

https://www.oxford.gov.uk/events/event/218/artists_book_-_urbansuburban_by_rachel_barbaresi

Flyer for the event featuring an illustration of a hare

JoeDaisy and the Hare Arts Showcase

  • 19 November 2016 — 7 January 2017 *on now

Date: 19th November 2016 - 7th January 2017
Monday - Saturday
Location: Gallery, Museum of Oxford
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Cost: FREE

A showcase of beautiful local art, sculpture and crafts brought to you by JoeDaisy studio. Buy your friends and family something unique, handmade and local this Christmas!

See JoeDaisy's website for details of all the artists exhibiting: http://www.joedaisy.co.uk/thehare.html

Website

http://www.museumofoxford.org

Young boys sit in a glassless window in Leon, graffiti on the wall beside them reads 'Viva Sandino'

30 years of the Oxford-Leon Link

  • 2 December 2016 — 14 January 2017 *on now

Date: 2nd December 2016 - 14th January 2017
Monday-Saturday
Location: Gallery Corridor, Museum of Oxford
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Cost: FREE

This exhibition is the final event in Oxford-Leon Link’s 30th anniversary year. The aim is to celebrate their achievements and those of Oxford’s twin city of Leon, Nicaragua. The exhibition records the relationship between Oxford and Leon and the great changes since 1986. The original twinning was with a post-revolutionary and often violent city. Now there is peace and relative prosperity, however problems of poverty, lack of education and poor health do remain.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.museumofoxford.org

impressionistic painting of a man leaning on a fence looking toward a house

Exhibition - Literature, Lives and Locations by Gwynne Robins

  • 14 — 28 January 2017

Date: 14th January 2017 - 28th January 2017
Monday - Saturday
Location: Gallery, Museum of Oxford
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Cost: FREE

A display of post-impressionist, impasto paintings in oils by Gwynne Robins, inviting the viewer to reflect on the literature, lives and locations of Oxfordshire and the world beyond.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.museumofoxford.org

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Logo reads 'The big lunchtime sing' in bold lettering

The Big Lunchtime Sing

  • 6 December 2016 12:30-1:30pm
  • 10 January 2017 12:30-1:30pm
  • 17 January 2017 12:30-1:30pm
  • 24 January 2017 12:30-1:30pm
  • 31 January 2017 12:30-1:30pm

Fun singing sessions for everyone. Learn beautiful songs from all over the world. No experience required, no need to read music, everything is taught by ear. £5 per session. No need to book just drop in. Led by Steph Pirrie singer, choir leader and musician from Oxford. For more info: www.stephpirrie.com

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 per session

Website

http://www.stephpirrie.com

Oxford Town Hall's Main Hall

Oxford Town Hall Heritage Tours

  • 10 December 2016 11am-12pm
  • 14 January 2017 11am-12pm

Join the Museum of Oxford as we take you on a tour around Oxford's magnificent Town Hall. This grade II* listed building was and still is the place where all of the big decisions for Oxford are made.
Did you know that our magnificent Main Hall was once a hospital during the First World War?
And that the public library of Oxford used to be housed within the Town Hall until the 1970s?
There is so much more to this magnificent building then the architecture; the stories of the people who have used and enjoyed this Town Hall past and present are unravelled and explored by our guides.

Each tour will take in the:

Medieval Crypt and city plate

-Explore Oxford's Jewish heritage

The Court Room

-Explore the multi-functionality of the Town Hall and its judicial past

The Council Chamber

-Explore where the council still meet to make the big decisions about Oxford

Turner of Oxford Watercolours

-Explore one of Oxford's most prolific painters, a contemporary of the great William Turner

Civic Plate display

-Explore out Great Mace, the largest ceremonial mace in the country and still present at council meetings and the 'beating of the bounds' ceremony

Explore Oxford!
-Explore our fantastic museum galleries, seek out how Oxford developed and some of the people that have shaped its past

All tours start at 11am unless otherwise stated and last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Please note that the Town Hall is fully accessible apart from the crypt which is only accessed via several stairs. All rooms visited on tour are subject to availability.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets
£4.50 per person (advance booking)
£5 per person (on the day)
£4 per concession (Senior citizens, students and young people under the age of 15) advance only

All money made by the tours goes towards the development of the Museumand its services. We are currently in the midst of a big redevelopment so we can show and explain more of Oxford’s history. Your patronage is much appreciated!

Website

http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decM/TownHallTours.htm

Toy Santa Clause sitting next to one of the museum exhibits, a Victorian model fairground ride

Museum of Oxford Winter Family Gallery Trail

  • 4 November 2016 — 6 January 2017 *on now

4th November 2016 - 6th January 2017
Mon - Sat
Location: Gift Shop, Museum of Oxford
Time: 10:00 - 16:30
Cost: FREE

Help William Fletcher, one of Oxford’s former mayors, finish his letter to Father Christmas and claim your lucky dip prize!

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Website

http://www.museumofoxford.org

Science Oxford text logo

Christmas Science with Science Oxford

  • 19 December 2016 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm, 1-1:45pm, 2-2:45pm
Sorry, fully booked

Join the Science Oxford team as they celebrate the chemistry of Christmas. Help Santa find his missing presents and create your own snow and festive decorations as part of this hands-on workshop for 5 - 12 year olds.

Sessions last for 45 minutes, starting at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm.

Now fully booked, but keep an eye on www.scienceoxford.com for any future events like this one.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13

Admission

£4 per child (accompanying adults free)

Website

http://www.scienceoxford.com

Black and White political cartoon, pigs at a table devouring money

The Corruption of Parliament? - Lecture by Dr. Tom Crook

  • 26 January 2017 6-7pm

When did we start paying MPs to represent us – and was this a good thing? Has it led to the corruption of Parliament?

Join the historian Tom Crook to find out more about the difficult relations between money, MPs and public service in modern Britain. Dr Tom Crook is Lecturer in Modern British History at Oxford Brookes University.

Refreshments available from 5.30pm.

Admission

Free, booking recommended.

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-corruption-of-parliament-tickets-27541647810?aff=ehomecard#tickets

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

We'll Meet Again: The Home Front in Oxford

http://www.museumofoxford.org.uk

Find out what life was like in Oxofrd during World War Two for evacuees, ARP wardens and the women who worked for the war effort.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Dept

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

A City at War!

Travel back in time to Oxford in the Civil war and discover what it was like to live in a city under siege. Food shortages, disease, water pollution and overcrowding are just a few of the hardships encountered in a city at war.
Pupils will be encouraged to investigate everyday life in Oxford betwen 1642 -1646 by exploring room settings in the galleries and handle objects for clues.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Department

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Darkside of the Victorians: Children on Trial (KS2)

http://www.museumofoxford.org.uk

Every pupil has a part to play in this re-enactment of Victorian children's trial using real Oxford cases.
Held in Oxford's Town Hall court room.
Combine this workshop with a visit to the Oxford Castle Unlocked to explore the consequences of their crimes! (additional £4 per student)

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Dept

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Medieval Rubbish

Rummage through the remains of a Medieval rubbish pit to discover what life was really like in Oxford over 500 years ago. This workshop aims to help children find out what an archaeologist is and how s/he interprets the past through objects. The handling colection comes from a real excavation in the Westgate Shopping Centre area. In the galleries, pupils will explore domestic life in Medieval Oxford.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Department

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Stories From the Grave

http://www.museumofoxford.org.uk

An interactive gallery and handling workshop investigating the evidence for Anglo-Saxon life in Oxford, with three diffrent activity options.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Department

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Time Detectives

Pupils, acting as time detectives, take part in an interactive tour of the galleries. Followed by a workshop session where they will be encouraged to apply their historical skills to complete a series of hands-on challenges.
Pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of chronology and awareness of why and how things have changed.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Learning Department

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252761 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Washday Blues!

The handling collections in this workshop allow children to touch the past and investigate the evidence from Victorian Oxford. Pupils learn about a typical Victorian washday in Oxford in the late 19th century.
They will explore objects used to wash and iron clothes before the widespread use of electricity. They will be encouraged to make comparsions and contrasts between 'now and then' and 'rich and poor'.

Creator

  • Museum of Oxford Education Department

How to obtain

Telephone/Email for more information or to book.
01865 252819 / museum@oxford.gov.uk

Museum of Oxford
Town Hall
St. Aldates
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 1BX
England

Website

www.oxford.gov.uk/museumofoxford

E-mail

museum@oxford.gov.uk

Telephone

Museum of Oxford Gift Shop

01865 252334

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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