Banbury Museum

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Welcome to Banbury Museum! We are a family friendly museum located in Banbury’s town centre, next to the idyllic canal side.

The Civil War, plush manufacturing, the Victorian market town, costume from the 17th century to the present day, Tooley’s Boatyard and the Oxford Canal, are just some of the stories illustrated in the museum. There are also regularly changing exhibitions and activities to ensure that there is always something new to see and do.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Monday - Saturday 0930 - 1700
Sunday 1030 - 1630
Bank holidays Sunday opening times

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday.

Admission charges

( There is a charge for entry to temporary exhibitions )

Additional info

◾Lift access from the museum shop on to museum floor
◾Lift access to all floors of the museum
◾Accessible toilet on the ground floor
◾Baby change facilities on all floors
◾Various parking options surrounding the museum

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Inland Waterways, Industry, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Marvellous Machines

Marvellous Machines

  • 24 March — 9 June 2018 *on now

An exhibition for all ages that combines curious and quirky gadgets and contraptions from the days before electronics, with modern automata, and all with more than a hint of Steampunk. The automata-mechanical sculptures with clever mechanisms and often humorous ideas – are on tour from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre whose exhibits have recently been enjoyed in China, Korea and the USA. Prepare to get involved as some of these machines need you to get hands-on.

The original gadgets, eccentric inventions and oddities created by Victorian and early 20th century inventors, are from the collection of Maurice Collins.

They include the nose shaper, clockwork burglar alarms, an entirely mechanical teasmade from 1902 (where an alarm clock set off a series of cogs and lit a matchstick to warm the kettle!), and a wrist-mounted 1920s predecessor of Satnav!

Featuring exhibits from the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

Please note, the museum is closed on Sundays. Please check the museum website or Facebook page before travelling, to avoid disappointment.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Tickets available on the day from the museum shop: £4.00 adult, £3.00 concessions, £2.00 children (Under 5s free)


Bell Street Hornton, 1920. An old motorcar drives down a rural village street, while children look on.

Making it Work: The Everyday History of a Banburyshire Village

  • 25 April — 9 June 2018 *on now

This foyer exhibition looks at Hornton as a prime example of a North Oxfordshire rural community that, through many generations, thrived on wide-ranging ingenuity and self-sufficiency. Hornton was in many ways typical of the villages of this area, whilst also being distinctive for its remote setting (when horse, cart and foot were the only transport) and its stone quarries, where the characteristic ironstone was named after the village.

Exhibition produced by Hornton History Group. Closed Sundays.

Suitable for

  • Any age


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.
Lego bricks

Brick Jam!

  • 30 May 2018 10am-4pm

Kids can come and let their imagination run wild playing with our collection of Lego & Duplo bricks.

Parents can have a coffee, take a breather and watch a mess build that they won’t have to clear up!

Drop-in activity. Closed for lunch between 12.30pm - 2pm. Suitable for children age 3+. All children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10


£2 per child


Hobby Horse

Hobby Horse Happenings

  • 31 May 2018 10am-4pm

Inspired by the rhyme of ‘Banbury Cross’ come and make your very own special wooden hobby horse.

Drop-in activity. Closed for lunch between 12.30pm - 2pm. Suitable for children age 4+. All children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10


£4 per person


Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Time

  • 1 June 2018 10am-4pm

The session is provided by Studio Prime, a creative collaboration between Playko, and Space Studio Banbury

This event will run in hour long sessions, with 10 people per session. Suitable for adults and children age 12+.

Session times: 10:30am,11:30am, 2pm & 3pm

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+


£4 per person


Charles Spencer

Summer lecture 2018

  • 12 July 2018 5-9pm

How did the most wanted man in the country outwit the greatest manhunt in British history?

In January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded in London outside his palace of Whitehall and Britain became a republic. When his eldest son, Charles, returned in 1651 to fight for his throne, he was crushed by the might of Cromwell’s armies at the battle of Worcester.

With 3,000 of his supporters lying dead and 10,000 taken prisoner, it seemed as if his dreams of power had been dashed. Surely it was a foregone conclusion that he would now be caught and follow his father to the block? At six foot two inches tall, the prince towered over his contemporaries and with dark skin inherited from his French-Italian mother, he stood out in a crowd. How would he fare on the run with Cromwell’s soldiers on his tail and a vast price on his head?

Charles Spencer, bestselling author of Killers of the King, uses Pepys’s account and many others to retell this gripping, action-packed, true adventure story, based on extensive archive material. Copies of To Catch A King will be on sale on the night for personalised dedications and signing, along with a cash bar for wine and soft drinks.

Subject to fine weather, gates will open from 5.00pm for picnics in the grounds of Broughton Castle. Lecture at 7.00pm, followed by Q&A and book signing.

Suitable for

  • 18+


£25 per person


Banbury Museum
Spiceball Park Rd
OX16 2PQ




01295 753752

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.