Holst Birthplace Museum
Holst Birthplace Museum
4 Clarence Road
Education and events
The Holst Birthplace Museum aims to celebrate the life and works of Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets. The museum was opened by Holst's daughter Imogen in 1975. Built in 1832, the birthplace is a mid-terrace townhouse of typical Regency style, retaining original nineteenth century features. Special events - Victorian Days, music lectures, children's activities - happen throughout the year. There is a specialist shop for Holst's music on CD.
11 February to 30 June, 1 Oct to mid Dec: Tues to Sat 10.00 - 16.00, Closed Sun & Mon.
1 July to 30 September: Tues to Sat 10.00 - 17.00, Sun 13.30 - 17.00. Closed Mon.
Open Bank Holidays. Open for the Heritage Open Weekend.
Pre-booked groups can sometimes be accommodated on closed days.
Family Ticket: £12.00 (2+3)
under 5 free
Museum Association Members: Free
Art Fund Members: Free
- Museums Association
Due to the character of the building it is regretted that access is difficult for wheelchair users. There are 3 steps up to the front door and staircases to all floors in the building (basement to second floor). There is no lift but there is a handrail for all stairs except the entrance steps.
Holst's piano, family items and extensive printed archive of photographs and ephemera. Holst's music is played in the Music Room. Also paintings by Fuseli's pupil Theodor von Holst (1810-44). The extensive social history collection of domestic items is displayed in period room settings: Regency drawing room, Victorian bedroom, Edwardian nursery and a working c.1880s basement of kitchen, scullery, larder and servants' rooms.
Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Music, Personalities, Photography, Social History, Toys and Hobbies
Key artists and exhibits
- Gustav Holst's Collard and Collard piano; paintings by Theodor von Holst.
Emotions - Contemporary Art Installation
- 12 February — 22 March 2014 *on now
Artist Lauren O’Neill’s impressive Emotions installation took shape after she began experimenting with a box of wool. Using polystyrene balls of various sizes and a felting needle she began creating striking spheres in a rainbow of coloured wool, yarn and silk.
The first two spheres were consciously designed in chequered and spiral patterns, but with the remaining spheres Lauren was comfortable with the process of making taking over, allowing her choice of colour to be determined by her emotions. As the overall piece developed she saw the work in terms of atoms, shapes and planets.
The installation has been hung above the piano on which Holst composed The Planets and suggests Holst’s idea for his piece literally bursting out of the piano.
The Holst Birthplace Museum is housed in the Regency terrace house on Clarence Road in Cheltenham where Gustav Holst, composer of the Planets, was born.
The museum tells the story of the man and his music alongside a fascinating display of his personal belongings, including his piano.
- Any age
Under 5 free
Family ticket £12.00
- 16 May 2014 5:30-6:30pm, 7-8pm
For one night only, the Museum will be transformed into a Victorian tea room, where costumed staff will serve you a selection of home-made tasty treats. Our local Hindu Cultural Association will be helping museum staff to cook authentic Indian recipes on our working Victorian kitchen range and offering tasty chutneys and Chai tea as the perfect accompaniment. We’ll be making our favourite Victorian cakes, jams and drinks for you to try too. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the life of Victorian maids or Holst’s interest in Indian culture. Be sure to book early for this busy event!
- Any age
Family (two adults and up to three children) £12