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Prince Philip’s visit to Tewkesbury Museum, 17 July 2006: Someone had cracked a joke!

Prince Philip with Mike Mike Sztymiak (Borough Mayor) Pete Aldridge (Town Mayor) and Maggie Thornton (Curator) outside the Museum.

Read the story about the Royal visit

All the fun of the fair!

Pete Aldridge, our Town Mayor, visits Tewkesbury’s Museum’s new model fairground exhibit in 2020.

See a video clip of the fairground models

We are closed at present due to Covid regulations and emergency roof repairs.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Museum later this year. Watch this space for announcements.
We are closed at present due to Covid regulations and emergency roof repairs

Tewkesbury Museum Logo

You are welcome to spend time in the wonderful unspoiled seventeenth century building that is Tewkesbury Museum. Discover Tewkesbury’s rich and diverse history through a collection which ranges from Roman remains through to wartime austerity. Learn about notable Tewkesbury people like Antarctic explorer Raymond Priestley. Study the magnificent diorama of the Battle of Tewkesbury and the unique fairground model.

museum-building-small-IMG_2060The building itself is a time capsule. Restored by Abbey restorer Thomas Collins in the nineteenth century and donated to the town as a Museum by an ‘anonymous gentleman’ in the twentieth, it is unique, full of original features, eclectic and eccentric.

The Museum is very child-friendly, with activities to keep them absorbed for hours.

As a small independent museum we offer local knowledge, local research and a fascinating glimpse into times gone by.

We’re often open outside our core hours; it’s worth a look to see if we are open.

We also do our best to open for individuals or groups outside these hours, by special arrangement.

Allow at least an hour for a visit


Because of its age the building is not disabled-friendly, though the staff are and will do everything they can to help.
The Museum is domestic in feel with narrow corridors and steep uneven stairs with some trip hazards.
The stairs make it impossible for wheelchairs and difficult for people with walking difficulties. Unpowered wheelchairs may be able (if accompanied by assistance) to negotiate a single step to get into the ground floor fairground exhibit room.
There is no lift or accessible toilet.
The Museum has plans to improve accessibility and we are making progress towards raising the funds required to do this.

Tewkesbury Museum Sign

1 week ago

Battle day!Today 550 years ago, the “Wars of the Roses” came to a head at Tewkesbury. The Yorkist army commanded by Edward IV, and his brother, the future Richard III, chased down and defeated the Lancastrian army of Queen Margaret and her son Edward, Prince of Wales. The outcome crushed the hope that the heir to the House of Lancaster would again take the throne and gave birth to the possibility of the House of Tudor taking the Crown of EnglandThe Post Office have also marked the occasion by launching a collection of stamps today (see previous post) featuring Tewkesbury and other battles fought during the wars.To find out more visit our day by day build up to the battle and the aftermath at ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

The Chariot Race. One of the 10 major rides in A E Salt's model fair. Only five rides are complete and running, we only have parts of the remainder. During lockdown we have been cataloguing these parts, and trying to assemble some of them. But this is not Airfix: there are no instructions or drawings to work from. Pictured here are the horses and chariots, and behind, part of the panelling with the title board. Cataloguing labels are attached to individual items. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

30 April 1471. Less than a week to the decisive battle. The Lancastrian army of Queen Margaret is pushing north, hoping to evade the Yorkists and meet up with reinforcements in Wales and the North West before facing their enemy. But King Edward IV is at Malmesbury with his superior forces, actively looking for the Lancastrians. Was defeat inevitable for Lancaster, was York destined to win? It didn't seem so at the time. Follow the fates of the royal houses as they make their way to Tewkesbury.Daily updates are available on Instagram @ tewkesburymuseum and on the web at ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Prince PhilipOn 17 July 2006, Tewkesbury Museum hosted the most illustrious visitor it is ever likely to have. Prince Philip.It came about because of an exhibition about the life of Sir Raymond Priestley which Sue Edlin, then the chair of the Museum Friends, was organising. She and Maggie, the curator, were aware of the friendship he’d had with Prince Philip which started when Sir Raymond joined the Royal Yacht Britannia for the Antarctic leg of a cruise in 1956 as guide to the area. They clearly got on very well. Completely ignoring the protocols which should be applied for such things, Sue and Maggie wrote to Prince Philip direct, told him about the exhibition and invited him to open it. To their surprise and delight he agreed, and even loaned three pictures to add to the display.There followed an intense period of cleaning and polishing, including the repainting of the toilet, which is compulsory for all Royal visits.He arrived with Henry Elwes, the Lord lieutenant, to a small reception committee outside and then went inside. The official tour was to the exhibition, where he spent a lot of time, reading Priestley’s diary and talking to two especially-recruited Antarctic exploration reenactors. The tour should have ended with a visit to the battle room but he insisted on a proper look around the whole building. He was particularly interested in the fairground models. (If only he could have seen them working!) When he left, the Town Crier was in the party outside. Prince Philip pointed at him and suggested that he should be inside as part of one of the displays, and then drove away. It was a successful day, and Maggie had a very complimentary letter of thanks from his Equerry-in-Waiting.On a personal level, I’d spent my working life successfully avoiding having to attend Royal Visits, but was cornered by Sue and Maggie, seeing no way out of being the battle room guide, though I wasn’t keen. In the event, my preconceptions were completely wrong. Everything which has been said about Prince Philip since his death is true. He was someone I could happily have spent an evening in the pub with. He had no airs and graces. He asked sensible questions and appeared to be interested in the topic. He was certainly far more knowledgeable about the fifteenth century than I had expected and he couldn’t possibly have been so well briefed in the back of the Rolls. I only had ten minutes of his very long life, but those ten minutes have stayed with me in a very positive way.Steve GoodchildChair of TrusteesTewkesbury Museum13 April 2021 ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

The museum is having a clear out to make way for major improvements to our galleries. We have a number of items which may be of use to someone. They are offered here for a short time, if not taken will be recycled or skipped. No charge, but small donations would be appreciated. Collection only at pre-arranged times. Today we have a couple of mannequins - torso only. One male, one female. Male fits on wooden stand, female doesn't, though might be adapted to. Both in need of good clean. There is also a female dummy made of sponge material with internal metal rods to allow limbs to be positioned. About 5 ft 4 ", slim build. Please PM museum if interested. ... See MoreSee Less
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