The Willis Museum and Sainsbury gallery

Willis Museum
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Founded by Mr. Willis, a local watch and clock-maker the Willis Museum looks at the last 200 years of Basingstoke and the surrounding area.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tues- Fri 10.00 - 17.00
Sat 10.00 - 16.00

Closed: Sun
Bank Holidays

Admission charges

Admission Free

Additional info

Public car parks within 5 mins.

Travel back in time, and experience some of the major changes that have created the Basingstoke that we know today. Contrast the present with the past, the rich with the poor. Meet Pickaxe, a 19th century farm worker forced to scrape a living from the streets of Basingstoke as a scavenger. Walk into a 1960s sitting room and kitchen and transport yourself back to the days of teddy boys and twin tubs. Beneath our Feet: Discover Basingstoke and Deane's rich archaeological heritage including the unusual Iron Age burial found at Viables, Fred the Roman skeleton and reconstructions of nationally important Saxon buildings at Cowderys Down. Local History: Dig deeper into your town's past in the local studies room - easily accessible old photographs, maps, postcards and much more.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
May The Toys Be With You

May The Toys Be With You

  • 13 January — 14 April 2018 *on now

This January, from a galaxy far, far away, an unmissable exhibition for Star Wars fans everywhere comes to Basingstoke. From X-Wing fighters to lightsabers, May The Toys Be With You is one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters. These fantastical designs became the playthings of a generation, and have fired our imaginations and stamped their place on our cultural landscape since the first film was released forty years ago. For little and big kids alike, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to view rarely seen and highly collectable Star Wars treasures.

Image: Matt Fox 2017 ©

Suitable for

  • Any age


Wedding dress

I Do!

  • 25 April — 7 July 2018

As we celebrate this year of royal weddings, what better excuse than to delve into our collection and share our most exquisite wedding dresses with you.

From gowns and veils to bonnets and shoes, the extravagance of the 1770s to the elegance of 2018, this stunning exhibition tells the stories of the personal choices made by brides-to be as they prepare to say ‘I do’.

Whether it’s something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, I Do! shines a spotlight on wedding dress fashions over the past 250 years

Suitable for

  • Any age




The Willis Museum and Sainsbury gallery
Old Town Hall
Market Place
RG21 7QD




01256 465 902


01256 471 455

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.