Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum
St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME14 1LH
01622 602838
Region or country
England (South East & Isle of Wight)

Based in Chillington Manor – an Elizabethan mansion on St Faith’s Street, Maidstone Museum holds in excess of 15,000 specimens or artefacts which come within the field of social history, and particularly strong domestic themes include housing, heating and lighting, cleaning and maintenance, food and drink, toys and games, textile crafts, music, broadcast and pre-recorded entertainment, writing equipment, and smoking. The museum also holds a fairly large collection of material of major local importance, documenting the everyday life of the borough, local events, and celebrities. Collections relating to local industries include brewing and hop picking (Fremlin, Style & Winch, Mason & Co); papermaking (Whatman); confectionary and food production (Sharps & Foster Clark); engineering (Tilling-Stevens); and agricultural equipment (Weeks).

The museum houses a major collection of printed ephemera, maps, and books (circa 12,000 specimens) relating to Maidstone. The collection ranges from the 18th century to the present day, but the most comprehensive coverage is for the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th. The photographic collections of over 6,000 items covering historic Kent consist of glass plate negatives, photographic prints, magic lanterns and slides, cameras, and accessories and equipment, together with a small quantity of amateur cine equipment.

What can be found at the venue?
Records or archive, Collection of artifacts, Library, Historic building or site
Significant collections relating to regional crime and punishment organisation or to a particular individual
Maidstone Museum has two Flintlock pistols used by the Hawkhurst Gang in Kent during the 18th Century. It also holds a small collection of items connected with Penenden Heath, the execution site, Maidstone Borough Police force and local prisons, in particular HMP Maidstone Prison. The collection is strongest for the Victorian period with a number of Victorian burglary tools, constable’s truncheons, handcuffs, a leg-iron and full body irons. A number of HMP Maidstone Prison registers are held some are on loan. In addition there is a small selection of 1990s material from HMP Maidstone, plate, mug and items produced by prisoners. The collection is held in store apart from a small display in the Local History gallery, which shows a cross section of material relating to Crime and Punishment from the 17th Century to the 1990s.
Does the venue have an online collections catalogue?
Details of opening for public access and / or research services
Low Season / Term Time from February 2022: Wednesday-Saturday 10am-4pm ( Last entry 3:30)
High Season / School Holidays (Excluding Bank Holidays): (February Half Term – 14-19 February 2022)
Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm ( Last entry 3:30)
Available services or facilities
Shop, Toilets
Accessibility and disability arrangements / Covid requirements
Access ramps and a lift to the first floor exhibitions. Wheelchairs and buggies have access to the majority of the ground floor, including toilets and baby changing facilities. Access via a lift to the first floor. Five disabled parking spaces for Blue Badge holders are available along the walled edge of Brenchley Gardens on Station Road. Parking is available for up to three hours and is just two minutes from the museum.
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