Holst Birthplace Museum

Holst Birthplace Museum
4 Clarence Road
GL52 2AY






Education and events



01242 524846

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.
Exterior of the Holst Birthplace Museum - a small terraced Regency house built in about 1830.
Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

11 February to 30 June, 1 Oct to 13 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.

Admission charges

Adults: £5.00
Concessions: £4.50
Family Ticket: £12.00 (2+3)
Child £2.00
under 5 free
Museum Association Members: Free
Art Fund Members: Free


  • Museums Association

Additional info

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.

Collection details

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.
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.

Pop Goes the Planets! Exhibition – Part of The Planets: 2014. Celebrating 100 years of Gustav Holst’s Masterpiece

  • 18 October — 6 December 2014 *on now

'Pop goes the Planets' is a revealing new exhibition which highlights the huge impact that 'The Planets' has had on popular culture from computer games to pop hits ,not to mention its impact on a number of Hollywood film scores.

This exhibition, compiled from the extensive archives of Holst scholar Neil Arthur Williams, is all about the Planets’ popular culture, reception, history and use in pop, rock, television, movies, computer games and all manner of modern things. Holst’s Planets has been used, quoted from, borrowed from, stolen from and been the inspirational compositional source of film music more than any other work in the entire canon of classical music.
Rock and pop memorabilia, album covers, rare film posters, CDs , computer games and children’s entertainment products will all form part of the exhibition

This special centenary exhibition is included in the museum’s normal admission price and it is hoped will particularly appeal to young music fans who may have previously considered classical music to be dry and inaccessible. Holst’s The Planets has been recently named as part of the BBC’s Ten Pieces project – an initiative to inspire and engage primary school children to get creative with classical music.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal museum entry admission applies
Adult £5.00 Concession £4.50 Child £2.00 Under 5 free
Family ticket £12.00



Pop Goes The Planets. Talk - Planets Centenary Programme 2014

  • 24 October 2014 7:30-9:30pm

Pop Goes The Planets : from Top of The Pops to Super Mario, Hollywood and Beyond!

Presented by Neil Arthur Williams, Holst scholar and
life member of the Holst Birthplace Museum who
illustrates this fascinating talk with items from his vast
Holst family media archive collected over 25 years.

“You will be utterly amazed to see just how far and
wide Holst’s Planets has brought its influence to bear
in so many different ways”. Neil Arthur Williams

The Planets has been used, quoted from, borrowed from, stolen from and been the inspirational compositional source of film music more than any other work in the entire canon of classical music.

To include a glass of wine or soft drink.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 11-13
  • 16-17


Phoenix Centre
86 – 90 Winchcombe Street
GL52 2NW

Getting there

Close to Cheltenham Town Centre bus services and car parks.


Adults - £10.00
Holst Birthplace Trust Members - £8.00
Students - £5.00
Available from the Holst Birthplace Museum



Children’s Activities at the Holst Birthplace Museum Traditional Halloween

  • 28 October 2014 10:30am-3pm

Traditional Halloween Drop-in children’s activity.
Make Monster Masks and follow the Spooky Trail.
Frighten your family this Halloween!

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 5-6
  • 11-13


Adults - £5
Concessions - £4.50
Up to three children FREE with a paying adult



The Secrets of The Planets – Planets Centenary Programme 2014

  • 21 November 2014 7:30-9:30pm

The Holst Birthplace Museum and The Cotswold Astronomical Society present a unique fifty minute film devised by Mark Gibbons showing stunning shots of the planets and amazing facts about them. The soundtrack will be Holst’s Planets Suite.

The film will be followed by a finger buffet with wine and soft drinks included.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Christ Church Hall
Malvern Road
GL50 2JH


Adults - £12.00
Holst Birthplace Trust Members - £10.00
Students - £6.00
Family ticket £24.00
Available from the Holst Birthplace Museum and Cheltenham Tourist Information Centre.



Traditional Victorian Christmas at The Holst Birthplace Museum.

  • 6 December 2014 10am-3pm

Christmas greenery, parlour games, and a roaring fire in the cosy kitchen. Forget the shops and celebrate a simpler Christmas, the Victorian way.

Children’s drop in activities from 10.30 to 3.00.
Making cards, stirring the Christmas pudding, making peppermint creams and pine cone robins.

Communal carol singing around Holst’s piano at 2.30 including Holst’s popular setting of ‘In The Bleak Mid Winter.’

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult £5.00 Concession £4.50 Up to three children free.