Saturday, 25 June 2016

Canterbury Heritage Museum, Canterbury, Kent.

After the Guided Walking Tour, we went to the Canterbury Heritage Museum or you can visit this website Canterbury Museums.

The museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00am-5:00pm. Tickets are £8.00 for adults. But if you buy a combo ticket with the Roman Museum the price of the join ticket is £12.00. It is a saving of £4.00 in total, so I did this. The walking tour overran and finished at 3:45pm; but as this was the only time I could go to the museum, I went; even though I only had an hour to spend there. I think you do need a minimum of 1 ½ hours.  

The building in which the museum is located was built in the 14th Century; originally as a hospital for the poor and sick. The building itself is pretty amazing and the oak beamed roof definitely has the “Wow” factor!

The upstairs of the museum is dedicated to the history of Canterbury/ England/ Britain. So starting from when the Romans came, St Augustine, the establishment of Christianity and Thomas Becket. There is actually a very nice and detailed tapestry on the history of St Thomas Becket. Then we move on to the reformation of the Christian faith in Britain including the destruction of the shrine. The relationship of Canterbury with the monarchy during the Tudor period and the reign of Elizabeth I is actually explained very well.

Downstairs focuses on Canterbury from the Victorian Period (I think) onwards. Here you can see:
  • The original steam engine that powered the first ever passenger railway journey. It was built by Robert Stephenson, son of George (yes, the famous one). 
  • The creators of many much loved children’s programmes are Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, who are originally from Canterbury. They recorded many episode of shows such as Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers in their shed. The original Bagpuss is here! Awwww!!
  • We cannot forget another famous son Rupert the Bear.
  • There is a large section dedicated to Canterbury during the War which is really poignant.

As this wasn’t covered in the tour I should probably have spent more time here.

I liked the museum very much. It is nice and small. The building is very nice too. The displays are interesting. It is a very interactive museum and there a lot of activities for children. Downstairs in the foyer, which is the area that focuses on the war, I could see a lot of tables and chairs set out for (school) children with different activities.
The problem is that I spent about 50 minutes upstairs and literally had to whiz around downstairs in 5 minutes. In hindsight, I realise that I should not have spent so long upstairs as a lot of the history was covered in the walking tour.  I’m not saying that you should do one and not the other. Definately go to both but just balance your time more correctly. Therefore, I didn’t really see anything properly downstairs, I just took a few pictures.  So, I am just a little bit annoyed at myself.
Read my other posts about my trip to Canterbury:

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