Braintree District Museum
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.
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm
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.
Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History
World War Two: The People’s Story
- 4 July — 12 September 2015 *on now
Braintree District Museum will be bringing World War Two to life in a new way this summer. The museum will be exploring what the war was like for those living on the Essex Home Front in a thought-provoking exhibition telling the story of life at home through the voices of local people rather than a museum professional. The museum has been interviewing people from across Braintree and surrounding villages as part of an exciting local oral history project. Visitors can hear the testimonies of evacuees to the area, Land Army girls, those who contributed to civil defence across the District and even the experiences of a German POW in Essex. Visitors of all ages are welcome to join in this evocative and moving exhibition, discovering how the impact of war could be felt not just on the continent or over London but much closer to home too.
- Any age
Adults £3; Conc £1.50; Under 16’s Free
Booking telephone: 01376 328 868
Castle Hedingham and Magna Carta
- 22 September 2015 — 30 January 2016
Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford and baron of Castle Hedingham, was one of the 25 barons who forced the Great Charter on King John and is listed as one of the 25 surieties of the charter. This exhibition looks at Robert's role in the Magna Carta story, and explores the local area in 1215. It includes work from local Heritage and Art Societies, interactives looking at Braintree buildings and life in the late 12th and early 13th Century and medieval jewellery and other local artefacts from the medieval period. This exhibition is family friendly and includes an interactive family trail. A key highlight is a stunning, newly commissioned, reconstruction painting showing Castle Hedingham in 1215.
- Any age
museum general admission charge applies - £3adult, £1.50 concession, children are free
Heritage Open Days: Braintree District Museum
- 11 — 12 September 2015
Last day to see our World War II exhibition - The People's Story and take part in object handling and World War II crafts from 11am-12pm. Join a tour to see Braintree Cage. Meet at the museum to gain access to non-public areas and discover the history of this beautiful Courtauld building.
- Any age
Braintree District Museum
Visit our website for more information on the Museum's collections and events