American Museum in Britain

exterior photograph of the American museum in britain
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Parking icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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, Archive, Library, Historic house or home, Gallery

Opening hours

Opening Times 2017

18 March – 29 October, Tuesday – Sunday
Closed Mondays except during August and Bank Holidays.

Cafe, gardens, and 1920s Jazz Age: Fashion and Photographs exhibition open 10.30am – 5pm

Main Museum and Joyce Petschek: Breaking the Pattern exhibition open 12noon – 5pm

The Museum closes on 29 October and re-opens for our Christmas season on 23 November 2017.

Christmas Season Opening 2017

23 November – 17 December, Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon – 4.30pm, café open from 11am.

Closed Mondays.

Grounds are closed for the winter.

The car parks close at 5pm.

Admission charges

Museum, exhibition and gardens:
Adults £12.00
Over 60s & Students £10.50
Children (5-18yrs) £6.50
Family ticket £28.50

Gardens only:
Adults £7.00
Over 60s & Students £5.50
Children (5-18yrs) £4.50

Gift Aid and Membership rates available.


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage
  • National Art Pass

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 museum only.

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


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.
Colour poster depicting Uncle Sam linking arms with Britannia. He holds a sword and has an eagle by his feet. She holds a fork and has a lion beside her. Print reads 'SIDE BY SIDE- BRITANNIA!' at top of poster. Beneath picture reads 'Britain's Day Dec 7th 1918'

Side By Side: America and World War 1

  • 17 March — 28 October 2018 *on now

In 2018, the centenary of America's first major military action during the First World War, we will commemorate America's reaction to involvement in the war and how that affected the progress and outcome of the war. America's relationship with both the Allied (particularly Britain) and Central Powers before, during and after the war will be addressed.
Despite now being dismissed by some as late to turn up and adopting the conquering hero persona, at the time America joining the war was eagerly anticipated; King George V wrote that 'the Allies will gain new heart and spirit in your company'. A fully immersive exhibition that will look at the subtleties of how America joining the war helped to end the stalemate and bring about the end of the war, challenging he preconceptions of bot British and American audiences.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • 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

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.