Braintree District Museum

Braintree District Museum
Manor Street


Visit our website for more information on the Museum's collections and events



01376 328868

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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At Braintree District Museum the story of the District and its diverse industrial and commercial history unfolds. The Main Galleries examine the development of the area from prehistory to the twentieth century, focusing upon the textile and manufacturing industries of Courtaulds, Warners and Crittalls, as well as displays of Castle Hedingham pottery, the work of the Great Bardfield artists and Essex straw and lace. A vibrant calendar of temporary exhibitions complements the Main Galleries throughout the year.

The Museum is housed in the converted Victorian Manor Street Junior and Infant Schools that were built in 1862 and 1897 respectively. The main building is home to the Museum Reception and Shop; Temporary Exhibition Gallery; Main Galleries; Victorian Schoolroom and John Ray Gallery, and opened in 1993. The second building was converted in 2002 and contains the Cafe and the Learning for Life Centre.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Admission charges

Adults £3.00; Concessions/students £1.50; Children free with a paying adult.

Free re-admission to the Museum and the Warner Textile Archive within a month of your original visit.


  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass

The lives of the early people of Braintree District are shown through the Museum’s archaeology collections. They range from Stone Age flint handaxes to eighteenth century trade tokens. Extensive archaeology archives are held from the Roman town of Braintree and Medieval Cressing Temple.

The Museum holds collections of the textile industry that dominated the District, including the nineteenth and twentieth century companies of Courtaulds and Warners. In addition there is a good collection from the Crittall Manufacturing Company who continue to make metal windows in Braintree.

As well as a diverse collection of ceramics collected by the Courtauld family, the Museum hold a distinctive group of Castle Hedingham pottery designed by Edward Bingham. There is also a selection of works by the Great Bardfield artists.

The everyday lives of people in the District over the last 200 years are covered in the photography, local and social history collections.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Wide angle shot of the Between the Lines gallery

Between The Lines - An Exhibition by E.A.S.T

  • 10 January — 14 March 2015 *on now

Each of the thirteen artists of E.A.S.T (East Anglian Stitch Textiles) has explored the 1914-18 conflict and undertaken extensive research of their chosen theme. These cover a wide range of topics and reflections including life on the Western Front, the role of women, the effects on landscape and nature, allied armies, mapping, armaments and the works of writers and artists in the 1920s. E.A.S.T was formed in 1995 by a group of experienced textile artists who were interested in establishing a masterclass in East Anglia. The group is based in Braintree and has close links with Braintree District Museum and the Warner Textile Archive.

The works on display demonstrate a wide range of textile techniques reflecting the interests of each member. The contemporary work will be accompanied by the research material making the completed display informative and topical as the country remembers this significant period of our history.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adults £3, Concessions £1.50, children under 16 free.


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.

The Human Face of the Great War

  • 11 March 2015 3-4:15pm

'The Human Face of the Great War’
Bill Fulton, Chairman of the Essex Branch of the Western Front Association.

This talk looks at personal and family experiences of the Great War, featuring many local stories. One story illustrates the effect on a local Witham family of a tragic accident on the home front and how this brought the war home to them. Other tales look at local peoples’ experiences of the war overseas.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£3 per person, including light refreshments