American Museum in Britain

American Museum in Britain
Claverton Manor



Education and Group Visits


01225 460503

Education and Group Visits

01225 823019

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 photograph of the American museum in britain
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Founded in 1961, The Museum has the finest collection of American decorative arts outside the United States. Displayed in a series of period rooms, the collection illustrates how early Americans lived between the 17th and 19th centuries. Interactive galleries offer an introduction to American history, while special collections highlight the finest examples of quilting, folk art, and early printed maps of the New World. The museum is also set in a spectacular, hillside setting including a formal garden, parkland, and nature trails.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

The Museum & gardens are currently closed for the Winter. They re-open on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Main Season Opening 2015

14 March – 1 November, Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon-5pm
Closed Mondays, except during August and on Bank Holidays.
All Museum buildings and shops are open from 12noon. The Café serves light lunches from 12noon – 2pm. Afternoon teas, cold drinks, cookies, and ice cream are available until 5pm.

The grounds and car parks close at 5.30pm.
Bank Holidays and August Mondays 2015

3 April, 6 April, 4 May, 25 May & 31 August 12noon-5pm
Every Monday in August 12noon-5pm
The Museum & gardens are closed between 2 and 25 November 2015
Christmas Season Opening 2015

26 November – 20 December, Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon – 4.30pm. Closed Mondays.

All Museum buildings and shops are open from 12noon. The Café serves light lunches from 12noon – 2pm. Afternoon teas, cold drinks, cookies, and ice cream are available until 4.30pm. Grounds are closed for the winter.

The car parks close at 5pm.

Admission charges

Museum, exhibition and gardens

Adults (without gift aid) £10.00 (with gift aid) £11.00
Over 60s & Students (without gift aid) £9.00 (with gift aid) £10.00
Children (5-16yrs) (without gift aid) £5.50 (with gift aid) £6.10
Family ticket * (without gift aid) £27.50 (with gift aid) £30.30


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage

Additional info

Both the musuem and exhibition gallery are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Certain parts of the gardens and grounds are also accessible. Wheelchair available for loan for use inside main musuem only. Please note that mobility scooters are not permitted in the museum.

A series of period rooms display American furniture, woodwork, silver, glass & textiles which illustrate domestic life from 17th century to the eve of the American Civil War in 1860. The museum’s beautiful grounds at Claverton Manor overlook the stunning Limpley Stoke Valley, an include a replica of George Washington's Mt. Vernon Garden plus an aboretum of American trees and shrubs.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Social History, World Cultures, Architecture

Key artists and exhibits

  • Shaker furniture
  • American quilts
  • Trade porcelin
  • Native American Indians
  • Early printed maps of the New World
  • American Folk Art
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
image of old decorative map

New World, Old Maps

  • 28 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

In 1988 Dr. Dallas Pratt, co-founder of the American Museum in Britain, gave the Museum over 200 Renaissance maps of the New World – a collection acclaimed by scholars as one of the finest holdings of rare printed world maps in existence.

This exhibition features a rotating display of historic maps in the American Museum’s collection.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of two native American men dancing with feathers

Spirit Hawk Eye

  • 14 March — 1 November 2015 *on now

Celebrating contemporary Native American culture, ‘Spirit Hawk Eye’ is a series of portraits by photographer Heidi Laughton that highlight the present-day customs of the Native peoples of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. These stunning images honour the spiritual, artistic, and enduring heritage of diverse Native American tribal communities.

‘Spirit Hawk Eye’ is a project celebrating contemporary Native American Indian culture through photographic portraiture using medium and large format film cameras (no digital). Revealing aspects of present-day Native cultural practices and lifestyles, these arresting black-and-white images portray contemporary Native peoples – with a focus on the Southwest – including Navajo, Chumash, Paiute, Zuni, Hopi, Comanche, Iowa, and Apache.

Each portrait is displayed with personal anecdotes of each individual, explaining the traditions and ways of life that are important to them. Launched in 2013 at the Talisman Art Gallery in Bergamot Arts Center, Santa Monica, ‘Spirit Hawk Eye’ celebrates the colourful, reverent, spiritual, artistic, and enduring elements of tribal communities.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of textile design with arrows

Hatched, Matched, Dispatched – & Patched!

  • 14 March — 1 November 2015 *on now

Bursting with textile treasures, this exhibition brings together astonishing objects that commemorate family milestones. As well as featuring historic quilts from major collections, the exhibition will also showcase superb costumes.

Everyone has his or her own way of perusing the newspaper. Some readers will turn immediately to the sports pages or television listings, while others will choose to look first at the Births, Marriages and Deaths section, also known in popular parlance as ‘hatched, matched, and dispatched’. Formal naming ceremonies, public pledges of union, and rituals of communal mourning are witnessed and shared by diverse communities throughout the world. This exhibition showcases a wealth of textile treasures that commemorate these milestones.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


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.

England and the Colonization of America

What was life like for colonists in the New World? Explore the lives, tools and trade going back and forth between England and America as these early setters began to shape a new nation.
• Colonial costume presentation
• Object handling with worksheet activity or map exhibition tour with worksheet activity
• 17th to 18th century period room tour
(Group size: max. 30; Duration: 2.5 hrs; Level: KS2)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019

Kids' Activities

Drop into art and craft activities at the American Museum in Britain. These are suitable for children aged 5 years and upwards on Thursdays 13.00-16.00 in school holidays.

How to obtain

Booking is not required but space is limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Activities are free after normal admission to the museum. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Native Americans – As Varied as the Land

Through this programme students will come away with a better understanding of the diversity of Native Americans by examining their art, tools, clothing, and the stories that have shaped their culture. Supported by a grant from SWMLAC Strategic Commissioning Programme, this is a unique opportunity to understand the living cultures that lie beyond the Hollywood stereotypes.
• Plains Indian costume presentation
• Object handling and worksheet activity
• Guided tour of American Heritgae exhibition galleries
(Group size: max.30 - Duration: 2.5hrs; Level:KS3, can also be adapted to KS2)

How to obtain

Book in advance - 01225 823019

Textile Traditions

Using the museum’s famous textile collection, learn how quilts, samplers and rugs served to reflect the social, cultural and artistic aspirations of Americans - from the genteel cities of the east coast to the plains of the western frontier.
• Textile Room tour
• Object handing and worksheet activity
• ‘Design Your Own Quilt Block’ activity
(Group size: max 30 - Duration: 2.5 hours; Level: KS1 - KS4)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019

The American West

Delving into the history of the exploration and expansion into the American West, students will begin to discern the fact from the fiction. From Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery to the days of the cowboys, find out how the west was really won.
• Plains Indian costume presentation
• Object handling and worksheet activity
• American Hertiage exhibition tour
(Group size: max.90; Duration: 3 hours; Level: KS3,GCSE)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019