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Queen Victoria's wedding shoes - Northampton Museum

Piddington Roman Villa

The Collosus Machine - Bletchley Park


Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway

The Moot Hall at Elstow

The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden

The Glenn Miller Museum at Twinwoods Airfield





Local Museums - By the Score!

Incredibly, within a short journey of Harrold there are more than twenty museums. The historical heritage of the local area is thus well catered for by a very wide range of museum types.

This page is meant to provide a general guide and, where appropriate, links in to the relevant web site or web page of certain museums.

Abington Museum
Abington Park, Northampton,


Military and social history displays in a manor house dating from 1500 onwards, and set in Northampton's finest park. The house was once the home of Shakespeare's granddaughter,

The Higgins Bedford
Castle Lane Bedford



Displays showing the social history of the homes and working environments of the people of North Bedfordshire. Archaelogical collections depict the lives of earlier inhabitants, including finds in Harrold and the Great Ouse Valley.

Bletchley Park
The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Bletchley



Britain's best kept secret! During WW2 the German armed forces' top secret codes were broken at Bletchley Park, providing the allies with vital information towards their war effort. The world's first programmable computer and other technologies we take for granted today were initiated at Bletchley Park.

Bromham Mill
Bridge End, Bromham



There has been a mill on the site of Bromham Mill since before the domesday survey in 1086.
Today, the Mill once again grinds flour and visitors can once again watch flour milling at close quarters.

Bunyan Museum
Mill Street, Bedford


The Bunyan Meeting House was founded in 1650 during the time of the commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate. Today it includes a unique museum presenting the life, times and works of John Bunyan in an accessible and relevant manner.


Cowper & Newton Museum
Orchard Side, Market Place, Olney



Orchard Side was the home of !8th Century poet, William Cowper, He collaborated with John Newton in the composition of the Olney Hymns, including "Amazing Grace". Displays in the museum depict the life and times of these two prominant Olney residents


Earls Barton Museum
Barkers's Factory Complex, Station Road, Earls Barton,



The museum contains permanent exhibitions of a shoe worker's cottage at the turn of the century, a lace case and corner shop. There is also an exhibition of Earls Barton footwear manufacture, a collection of early photographs and other local memorabilia.

Elstow Moot Hall
Elstow, Bedford


At one end of the village green in Elstow is the old Moot Hall, a picturesque 15th century building of brick and timber which now houses a museum of 17th century life with a focus on the life and career of John Bunyan.


Intelligence Corps Museum
Chicksands, Bedfordshire


Chicksands is one of the most striking military bases in the UK. The centrepiece is the remarkable 12th Century Gilbertine Priory which was home to both nuns and monks for 400 years. Today it is the Home of the Intelligence Corps Museum, the Medmenham Collection and the USAF Commemorative Collection.

Kettering Heritage Quarter
The Manor House, Sheep Street, Kettering


Explore Kettering's history at the Manor House Museum. Temporary exhibitions, regular activities, and a 'hands-on' approach to history, make this a lively and vibrant place to visit.

LB Narrow Guage Railway
Page's Park Station, Billington, Leighton Buzzard


The Leighton Buzzard Railway is one of the few narrow-gauge light railways to survive in England. Built in 1919 to transport sand, the line has carried a steam-hauled passenger train service since 1968, and now houses one of the largest collections of narrow-gauge locomotives in the United Kingdom.


Luton Museum
Wardown Park
Old Bedford Road


The museum,housed in Wardown Park, depicts the life and work of the people of Luton. There is an internationally acclaimed collection of lace and a fascinating collection relating to the Hat Industry.

Northampton Museum
Guildhall Road, Northampton

The Northampton Museum and Art Gallery reflects Northampton's proud standing as the county's market town. It houses both a collection of boots and shoes which is recognised as the finest in the world and the story of Northampton's growth from small settlement to the largest town in Britain.


Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Museum
Hunsbury Hill Country Park, Wet Hunsbury,Northampton


The Museum houses relics of the ironstone quarry that closed in the 1930s. A railway line runs along the site of the quarry line. It is also home to one of the British Rail design double-decker trains which is currently undergoing restoration on site.



Milton Keynes Museum
McConnell Drive, Wolverton, Milton Keynes


This museum housed in a Victorian farmstead, follows the history of Britain's newest city and North Buckinghamshire from 1800. Displays include social, domestic, industrial and agricultural items, each with many stories to tell.


Oundle Museum
The Old Court House, Mill Road, Oundle


Oundle Museum, set in an old court house, provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of the local community from Roman times, through the Saxon era and the Middle Ages to the present day.


Piddington Roman Villa
Chapel End, Piddington, Northants, NN7 2DD.


The Museum, which only opened in 2003, consists of archaeological material gained from 24 years of excavation at the late Iron Age settlement and Romano-British villa, at Piddington by the Upper Nene Archaeological Society. As well as material of local significance, there is a considerable collection which is of regional and national significance. The displays interpret the history and life of the settlement and include a detailed model of the villa, and a full-scale mannequin of Tiberius Claudius Severus, together with a full-sized reconstructions of a hypocaust and typical roof (dated later C2nd).


Rushden Transport Museum
Rushden Station,
Station Approach,
Rushden,  Northants

Rushden Transport Museum is situated in the Old Midland Railway Station of 1894 which once formed part of the  Wellingborough to Higham Ferrers branch line. It was taken over by the Rushden Historical Transport Society in 1984 

Shuttleworth Collection
Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden, Biggleswade



The Shuttleworth Collection is in a quiet countryside setting, actually on an old fashioned all grass aerodrome with eight hangars. These hangars comprise an aeroplane engineering workshop, a garage and coachroom, and the remainder house the world famous collection of aircraft.

The Collection of Historic vehicles and aeroplanes is unique in that everything is kept in working condition

Stockwood Craft Museum
Stockwood Country Park
Farley Hill


There is so much to see, from the fascinating displays of Bedfordshire rural trades and crafts to the beautiful gardens and the intriguing Hamilton Finlay Sculpture Garden.

The complex also houses the famous Mossman Collection, Britain's largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles.


Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum
Grand Union Canal,Stoke Bruerne, Northants


Rich display of artefacts, photographs and models depicting 200 years of inland waterway history, situated by locks in a picturesque setting on the Grand Union Cana near to the Blisworth Tunnel.

Twinwoods Aviation Museum
Twinwood Road

Located on the former RAF Night Fighter Training Station, Twinwood Farm, close to the restored “Watch Office” and “Glenn Miller” Museum. The Twinwood Aviation Museum is housed in a section of the old Flight Office building, which was used as a Lecture Room,

Wellingborough Museum
Dulley's Baths, 12 Castle Way, Wellingborough


The newly developed museum occupies the building of a Victorian swimming pool built by a local brewer.It contains an ever growing collection covering all aspects of the history of Wellingborough over 2000 years. Particular emphasis is on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a 1940s living room and kitchen, an ironmongery & haberdashery shop.

Wollaston Museum
102 High Street

Wollaston Museum consists of three main sites:

Main Hall - 18th Century chapel that houses a collection of archaeological, farming, shoe trade, lace making and locally focussed exhibits.

Beacon Hill - Remnants of a medieval motte from a Motte and Bailey Castle.

Village Cottage - This village cottage has recently been renovated to highlight some of the periods of history in which the cottage has been lived in. 






The web-site of the village of Harrold