North Hertfordshire Museum
North Hertfordshire Museum in Hitchin has four galleries:
The Discovering North Hertfordshire Gallery, which deals with the history of the district from geological times to the present day.
The Exhibition Gallery, where changing exhibitions use objects from our own collections or items borrowed from other museums and galleries.
The Living in North Hertfordshire Gallery upstairs, which deals with how people have lived, worked and played through time.
The Terrace Gallery, which includes a collection from what is thought to be the world’s first football museum, collected since 1952 by Hitchin Town FC.
Admission is free.
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:30 to 16:30
Sunday: 11:00 to 15:00
A local authority museum with a collection primarily reflecting the heritage of North Hertfordshire. We have particularly strong collections of archaeological material, costume and natural sciences, with some archives, art and social history. We also have a collection of football memorabilia (originally from Hitchin Town Football Club, which established the world’s first football museum in 1956), a little ethnographic material and ancient objects from Mediterranean civilisations.
Archives, Agriculture, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Photography, Sport, Archaeology, Coins and Medals, World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Religion, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Medicine
- 5 October 2019 — 4 January 2020 *on now
This exhibition displays paintings from the collections of the former Hitchin and Letchworth Museums, shown together for the first time. The two museums closed in 2012, and their collections were merged to form the North Hertfordshire Museum collection. A later exhibition will display prints and watercolours from the collection, while this one concentrates on oil paintings. Some of our most interesting paintings are already on display throughout this museum, so do look out for them during your visit.
Both previous museums were fortunate to have art collections, and although each concentrated on local artists, the collections were very different. Hitchin Museum was particularly strong on oils and watercolours by members of the Quaker brewing family, the Lucases, especially Samuel Lucas Snr., (1805-1870). The Hitchin collection also contained striking views of Hitchin market and St Mary’s Church by Belgian artist Gerard Ceunis (1885-1964), who had trained at the Ghent Academy, and fled to the UK in 1914, settling in Hitchin. A later refugee was the Austrian artist and sculptor Theodore Kern (1900-1969), who had studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and spent the final thirty years of his life in Hitchin.
The stars of the Letchworth collection were artists who had come to the new Garden City in its early years, attracted by its ‘simple life’ ethos; particularly Spencer Gore (1878-1914) and William Ratcliffe (1870-1955). Ratcliffe lived in Letchworth on and off throughout his life, and Letchworth Museum built up the largest collection of his work in the country. Many watercolours were given to the museum after the artist’s death, but it also acquired a number of significant oil paintings, all purchased with grant aid from the Art Fund, the ACE/V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Hertfordshire Heritage Fund. Another interesting artist drawn to the early Garden City was Margaret Thomas (1842-1929), who travelled throughout Europe and the Middle East in the later years of the 19th century, painting as she went.
- Any age
Krysia: Recent Paintings
- 21 September — 24 November 2019 *on now
This exhibition, displayed in the Arches, highlights the work of Krysia Michna-Nowak. Krysia is a local artist who lives in Bygrave and works from her studio in Hitchin. Her mixed media paintings are a combination of mono prints on paper with Japanese matt acrylic paint and are influenced by Greek mythology, mystical tales, Polish culture, history and war. Krysia was born of Polish parents and she has exhibited across the UK and beyond.
- Any age
North Hertfordshire Museum