Our Museum Mission
'Our museum seeks to encourage and promote further interest, understanding
and involvement in the historical heritage of Winchcombe and the surrounding
area through its unique collections and archives for the benefit of both
the local community and visitors'
Winchcombe is now a small and busy country town set amongst the beautiful rolling Cotswold Hills of Gloucestershire a few miles from Cheltenham. But it was once an important seat of the Mercian kings, and one of the most important towns in Gloucestershire.
The Abbey was founded in 798 on the instructions of King Kenulf, and dedicated in 806 in the presence of Kings and Bishops.
The early layout of the town, its defensive position, with its long main street flanked by the tenements of the tenants of the King and Abbey can still be seen today.
Visits from Kings and pilgrims to the shrine of St Kenelm ended with the dissolution of the Abbey.
The loss of the Abbey and the wool trade plunged the town into poverty – Sudeley Castle nearby was destroyed in the Civil War.
Winchcombe revived gradually in the nineteenth century with the rebuilding of Sudeley Castle, and the coming of new industry, including the famous Winchcombe Pottery, situated just a mile from the town centre.
Winchcombe Museum is a small 'accredited museum' administered by Winchcombe Town Trust and run entirely by volunteers. It contains a varied folk and local history collection highlighting the fascinating history of Winchcombe and its people through the ages.
There are a large number of local family and history folders and information which are available to view. These all help to explain more about Winchcombe and the surrounding area as well as assisting possibly with your own family history research.
The museum also houses a fantastic collection of British and International Police Uniforms - both historic and modern.
There are also free 'activity sheets' for accompanied children and also a small shop.
We have a stairlift, but the museum is not suitable for wheelchair users.
The museum is normally open between the hours of: 10.00 to 16.00 hrs on Monday – Saturday from April to October.