Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery

Maidstone Museum
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Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery is an award winning museum, housed in a beautiful Elizabethan manor house, is one of the best in the South-East. Highlights include a 2,500 year old mummy; Maidstone's local history; A fascinating journey through time when dinosaurs walked the earth; One of the finest Japanese collections of Japanese art in the country; Magnificent 'Old Master' oil paintings; and the splendour of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tue-Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-16.00 (Closed on Sundays from Nov-Mar)

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day

Admission charges


Fine and Applied Art: Dutch and Italian Old Masters, British School, Victorian and Contemporary Paintings, Prints and Sculptures; Textiles, Costume and Accessories; Outstanding Japanese Collections; Furniture and Ceramics.

Natural History: Discover the biodiversity and ecology of Kent and its geological evolution over 300 million years.

Human History: Archaeology, Eqyptian, Medieaval, Victorian Explorers, Maidstone Connections: 'The History of our County Town'.

The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum: Uniforms, Medals, Weapons, Wars and Battles including WW1 and WW2.

Collection details

Archaeology, Architecture, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War, World Cultures

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

Coming Home: Conflict & Care in 1916

  • 24 September 2016 — 7 January 2017 *on now

A First World War exhibition based on two paintings in the museum’s collections by artist Frank Hyde:

- ‘Trones Wood’
- ‘Wounded Soldiers Arriving at Maidstone East’

The ‘Trones Wood’ painting is accompanied by an array of items, sounds and images from the conflict. Uniform and military equipment used by the soldiers are shown, including a Lewis gun (which enabled the 7th Queen’s Own to hold Trones Wood). The ‘Arrival of a Convoy of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone East’ painting tells a different story, this time of the home front. Images and objects such as prosthetic limbs, medical uniforms and equipment, and even a wedding dress reveal the lives of the injured returning home and of the people who remained at home.

During the Great War 60,000 men served in the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment with a total of over 750,000 British men losing their lives.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Seaweed and their Secrets

Seaweeds and their Secrets

  • 4 October 2016 — 4 April 2017 *on now

A delightful look at the variety of seaweeds around the Kent coast and their sometimes surprising uses in everyday products.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Graham Clarke ‘Now & Then’

Graham Clarke ‘Now & Then’

  • 21 January — 18 March 2017

Artist, author, illustrator and humourist, Graham Clarke is one of Britain’s most popular and best-selling printmakers. This entertaining exhibition of etchings, blockprints, watercolours and sketchbooks spans 50 years of this prolific Kentish artist’s work demonstrating his unique style found in national collections, royal palaces, galleries, pubs and private homes across the world.

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.
Museum Lates: An evening with Graham Clarke

Museum Lates: An evening with Graham Clarke

  • 26 January 2017 6:30-9pm

Come and enjoy an evening in the company of Graham Clarke. Gain an insight into his work in an evening of humour and anecdotes from the artist’s life.

Suitable for ages 12+

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17


Arts Award ‘Discover in a Day’

Arts Award ‘Discover in a Day’

  • 28 January 2017 10am-4pm

We are excited to offer children aged 5+ the opportunity to gain a ‘Discover’ Arts Award. Children, with a parent/guardian, investigate different art forms, find out about an artist or collector, create a piece of art and share their work – all in one day. We are lucky to have Graham Clarke as our guest artist to work with the children!

Upon completion, a certificate is awarded by Trinity. Please note, children’s work is moderated by the team and certificates are ordered on completion. Delivery of certificates can take 6-8 weeks. A museum certificate is awarded on completion of the day and the official Arts Award Certificate will be sent or can be collected from the museum.

All resources will be provided, however this is a full day activity with a 30-45 minute lunch break, so please bring a packed lunch or eat in our cafe.

Children must be accompanied by an adult, who can work with up to three children.

Booking essential as space limited to 15 children.

Suitable for

  • Any age




Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery
St. Faiths Street
ME14 1LH


General Information


General Enquiries


General Enquiries

01622 602838/9

Education Enquiries

01622 602853

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.