The Wiltshire Museum has the best Bronze Age collections in Britain. The collections in the Museum, together with its Library and Archive, are Designated Collections of national significance. Founded over 150 years ago, it preserves the rich archaeological and historical treasures and records of Wiltshire, including the World Heritage Site of Avebury and Stonehenge.
Museum, Library, Archive, Gallery
GIFT AID ADMISSION:*
Children under 16: FREE (Excluding school groups)
- Museums Association
- English Heritage
- National Art Pass
We welcome researchers of all types, but please contact us before you intend to visit. Find out more from our Research Charter at
Most of our collections are online - please see our website.
The entire collections of Wiltshire Heritage Museum are Designated Collections of national importance.
The collections contain Early Bronze Age items, along with objects related to the World Heritage Sites of Avebury and Stonehenge including gold ornaments and jewellery made of various materials. The displays also include outstanding and Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval collections.
Social history collections concentrate on the more recent history of the town of Devizes. The museum also has natural history collections allowing visitors to explore the geology and wildlife of Wiltshire. A selection of the extensive art collection that relates to the county is on display.
Trade and Commerce, Social History, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology, Agriculture
Key artists and exhibits
- Works by John Piper and David Inshaw are on permanent display. The Museum's collection also includes works by Graham and Ann Arnold, James Bridges, John Buckler, A V Copley Fielding, Philip Crocker, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Lord Methuen,
- Henry Moore, Samuel Prout, Augustin Pugin and Robin Tanner. These may be viewed by prior arrangement. A selection of 185 paintings, drawings and prints from the collection have been published in Art in Wiltshire available from the Museum bookshop.
- Designated Collection
Compassion in Crisis: 80 Years of the Royal Voluntary Service
- 7 May — 24 June 2018 *on now
In 1938 Stella Reading and her million ‘women in green’ revolutionised the way the world thought about voluntary service. During the Second World War these women of the WVS volunteered to help on the Home Front providing compassion in crisis, to anyone who needed it. This is the story of how one woman and her ‘army that Hitler forgot’, quietly changed Britain forever. They pushed forward the cause of women, helped form the modern welfare state and were always on hand in times of crisis; from the threat of nuclear war, to caring for tens of thousands of refugees. Their simple acts of kindness are woven into the very fabric of the nation.
On the 80th anniversary of the Royal Voluntary Service, this free exhibition tells the story of service beyond self given by millions of volunteers. It also asks: How did their actions change Britain? Is compassion itself now in crisis? And are we still willing to give the gift of voluntary service in the 21st century?
Entry to the exhibition is free (there is a charge to see the rest of the Museum).
Telling Wiltshire's Story: 30 Years of Support from Art Fund
- 12 May — 24 June 2018 *on now
An exhibition of treasures acquired by the Museum with Art Fund support will be on display at Wiltshire Museum in Devizes from 12 May to 24 June.
Over the last 30 years, Art Fund has generously contributed £50,000 to help purchase many important acquisitions for the Wiltshire Museum. The exhibition celebrates this support by displaying an eclectic mix of art and artefacts such as depictions of Wiltshire landmarks and landscapes, a Roman coin hoard, a collection of medieval floor tiles and a set of 19th century Druid medals. This is the first time that these items have been on show together.
The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Dr Paul Robinson, who was Curator of the Wiltshire Museum for more than 20 years. Paul devoted much of his career to acquiring nationally important items to add to the collections and therefore raise its profile both archaeologically and artistically.
Highlights from the exhibition include lithographs from the Stonehenge Suite by Henry Moore; works by David Inshaw; a pencil drawing by Robin Tanner and a watercolour by Anthony Vandyke Copley-Fielding. The show will include the oldest depiction of Stonehenge in the Museum’s collection, Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, a watercolour from 1784 by Joshua Gosselin. Pictures of Stonehenge are complemented by images of other local Wiltshire landmarks including Old Wardour Castle, Silbury Hill, West Yatton, Devil’s Den, Stourhead gardens and Bradenstoke Abbey. A stained glass window designed by John Piper for Wiltshire Museum and its cartoon will be on display.
For the first time visitors will have the opportunity to see Apollo Pythion, by Jo Tillson, who was one of the leading figures associated with the British Pop Art movement, which was gifted to the Museum by Art Fund in 2002.
Art Fund has enabled the Museum to acquire other items too. These include: the famous Stanchester Hoard of gold and silver Roman coins, discovered in 2000 by a 14 year old schoolboy from Marlborough, together with the newly reconstructed pot in which the hoard was found; the medieval the Box Hoard; a selection of medieval floor tiles from Bradenstoke Priory – many of the tile designs are unique to the Priory; and a bronze figure of Christ from a crucifix which probably adorned the altar of the parish church of St. Mary’s in Purton. This eclectic mix of items is complemented by a collection of 19th century Druid medals from the Ancient Order of Druids, Grand Lodge of Druids and Venerable Order of Druids.
Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund said: “We are proud that our support of Wiltshire Museum over the last thirty years is being celebrated in this exhibition. The works of art and artefacts help to animate the historical narrative of Wiltshire and are a testament to Paul Robinson’s dedicated efforts.”
Lisa Brown, Curator, at Wiltshire Museum, said “This exhibition, in memory of Dr Paul Robinson, is a tribute to a wonderful Curator who was passionate about the County and through working closely with Art Fund was able to purchase many treasures for the Museum, enabling us to continue to tell Wiltshire’s story.”
Entry to the exhibition is free for visitors with a National Art Pass - www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk for opening times.
Normal Museum admission prices apply. Entry free with a National Art Pass.
41 Long Street