The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford
Castle Lane
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK40 3XD
England

Website

E-mail

Contact us

thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk

Telephone

The Higgins Bedford

01234 718618

Education Service

01234 718627

Fax

Main Gallery

01234 718619

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.
The Higgins Bedford
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The Higgins Bedford reopened in June 2013 following a major redevelopment. The Higgins showcases wonderful and varied collections including the Cecil Higgins Collection of fine and decorative arts, with its world-class watercolour and print collections and unique groups of work by the designers William Burges and Edward Bawden. The watercolour collection includes works by Turner, Constable, Cotman and Blake, whilst the print collection includes works by Picasso, Goya, Munch and Bonnard alongside many others. The Higgins explores the inspiring stories of local people and encourages a ‘sense of place’ for Bedford and the surrounding area. Using collections of archaeology, social history and ethnography, The Higgins shows how the town of Bedford has developed.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

The Higgins Bedford is Free to visit.
Opening Hours are: Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 5pm
Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday: 2- 5pm
Closed Mondays, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing day and new Year's Day

Admission charges

Adults Free
Childen Free

Discounts

  • National Art Pass
Getting there

By Road: If arriving from the north or south there are excellent links to Bedford from the M1, A1 and A6. If travelling from the west or east, the A421 and A428 provide easy access to the town. There is an excellent Park & Ride facility on the A6 at Elstow, south of Bedford, which is also convenient for visitors arriving on the A421 from the M1 and A1.

There are 4 car parking spaces at the entrance of the art gallery and museum for visitors with Accessible Parking Permits or Blue Badges.

The main routes to Bedford are:

From the M1 (North and South) : exit at Junction 13 and follow the A421 towards Bedford, and follow the signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (North) : exit at the Black Cat roundabout and follow the A428 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (South) : exit at the Sandy roundabout and follow the A603 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre

The nearest public car park is at Lurke Street, just 5 minutes walk from The Higgins Bedford. If attending evening functions the nearest 24 hour, open air, public car parks are St Peter’s Street and Riverside Square, both about 10 minutes walk.

By Train: The Higgins Bedford is 0.9 miles from Bedford Midland Railway Station. Follow the sign posted route to the Town Centre and Art Gallery & Museum, about 20 minutes walk. Alternatively there are taxis readily available at the railway station.

There are frequent services from London (St Pancras International) with trains arriving and departing every 30 minutes. The First Capital Connect service runs from Brighton, Gatwick Airport, London stations, St Albans and Luton through to Bedford. The East Midlands Trains service runs from Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Kettering and Wellingborough to Bedford, and on to St Pancras International.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford at The Higgins Bedford

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford

  • 27 September 2014 — 31 May 2015 *on now

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford opens on Saturday 27th September 2014 and runs until 31st May 2015 and will be accompanied by talks and special events.

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford is part of the First World War Centenary Partnership, led by IWM (Imperial War Museums). The exhibition that explores the little-known story of the Highland Division billeted in Bedford between August 1914 and May 1915.

Up to 22,000 soldiers from Highland regiments arrived in the local area; given that the population of Bedford at the time was approximately 39,000, this was a very significant number. Alex Rule, a member of 1/4th Gordon Highlanders wrote ‘The quiet old county town was shaken to its foundations. We doubled the population; sheer weight of numbers alone made us a disturbing factor in its civic life’. However, the Highlanders soon become a welcome and familiar sight in the town, with many local families opening their doors to welcome the soldiers.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/exhibitions.aspx

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.
Highlanders Family Day

Highlanders Family Day

  • 1 November 2014 11am-4pm

Discover what life was like for the Highlanders billeted in Bedford and in the trenches at the Front. Chat with some soldiers of the 1914 - 18 Gordon Highlanders Regiment and listen to some Highland Pipers. Enjoy the Highland dancing demonstrations and join in with a dancing workshop at the free family day.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

FREE

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/exhibitions/current_exhibitions/highlanders.aspx

Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford

Higgins spotlight series: Highlanders

  • 11 November 2014 11:30am-12:30pm

Higgins spotlight series looks in depth at aspects of the exhibitions and collections. Join local historian, Richard Galley, for a talk accompanying the exhibition Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford. Richard was inspired to research the story of the Highlanders in Bedford after discovering the diary of Private Hugh MacArthur. He is in the process of writing a book about his research and has assisted The Higgins Bedford with developing the exhibition Highlanders: Billeted in Bedford.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5
£4 concessions

Website

http://www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk/exhibitions/current_exhibitions/highlanders.aspx

'Beyond Action and Reaction' Expressionism, Cubism and Vorticism

  • 13 November 2014 1-1:30pm

Exploring the artists associated with this explosive period in European art - the perfect introduction to the exhibition Expressionism, Cubism and Vorticism.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£2.50 standard, £2.00 concession

Activity Superstore: Curator-led behind the scenes tour

  • 1 January — 31 December 2015

Join one of our curators on an hour long tour of The Higgins Bedford’s collections. The tour takes a look at the unique collection of furniture, ceramics and metalwork by the eccentric architect and designer, William Burges. It explores the vibrant, witty work of 20th century designer Edward Bawden, looks at the world-renowned collection of watercolours and prints in the Wixamtree gallery. The tour then offers an exclusive opportunity to see behind-the-scenes and look at works in the art gallery store.

If, for example, one of the early dates did not get fully booked, would we have the opportunity to add an extra date later in the year? Or are the dates given set in stone?

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Art and Design

A wide range of sessions are available using the collections in the Gallery as inspiration for practical work.

How to obtain

Contact the Education Department (01234) 217418.

Describing Toys

Getting there

By Road: If arriving from the north or south there are excellent links to Bedford from the M1, A1 and A6. If travelling from the west or east, the A421 and A428 provide easy access to the town. There is an excellent Park & Ride facility on the A6 at Elstow, south of Bedford, which is also convenient for visitors arriving on the A421 from the M1 and A1.

There are 4 car parking spaces at the entrance of the art gallery and museum for visitors with Accessible Parking Permits or Blue Badges.

The main routes to Bedford are:

From the M1 (North and South) : exit at Junction 13 and follow the A421 towards Bedford, and follow the signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (North) : exit at the Black Cat roundabout and follow the A428 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre
From the A1 (South) : exit at the Sandy roundabout and follow the A603 to Bedford, and then signs to the Town Centre

The nearest public car park is at Lurke Street, just 5 minutes walk from The Higgins Bedford. If attending evening functions the nearest 24 hour, open air, public car parks are St Peter’s Street and Riverside Square, both about 10 minutes walk.

By Train: The Higgins Bedford is 0.9 miles from Bedford Midland Railway Station. Follow the sign posted route to the Town Centre and Art Gallery & Museum, about 20 minutes walk. Alternatively there are taxis readily available at the railway station.

There are frequent services from London (St Pancras International) with trains arriving and departing every 30 minutes. The First Capital Connect service runs from Brighton, Gatwick Airport, London stations, St Albans and Luton through to Bedford. The East Midlands Trains service runs from Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Kettering and Wellingborough to Bedford, and on to St Pancras International.

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