Barton House

October 6

Five Favourite…Oxford Museums


Less than half an hour from Barton House, Oxford is an ideal place to visit should you wish to combine your event with a trip out.

Whilst Barton House offers a home from home environment, for those who want to take some time out to explore the historic city’s museums, the below offers (in no particular order) a few of our personal favourites.

  1. Ashmolean Museum

From 10am to 5pm on Tuesday to Sunday (& Bank Holiday Monday)

The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Their world famous collections range from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time. The Ashmolean’s collections are extraordinarily diverse, representing most of the world’s great civilisations, with objects dating from 8000 BC to the present day. Among the many riches, they have the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of Egyptian pre-Dynastic sculpture and ceramics outside Cairo, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, outstanding Anglo-Saxon treasures, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese painting in the Western world.

  1. Pitt Rivers Museum

From 10am to 16.30pm on Tuesday to Sunday (and Bank Holiday Monday)
From 12pm to 16.30pm on Monday

The Pitt Rivers Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. It is also a teaching and research institution and the curators are also university lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology. The museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford. There were more than 26,000 objects in 1884, but now there are over half a million in the museum. Many were donated by early anthropologists and explorers. Today the museum, which includes extensive photographic, film, manuscript and sound collections, is a dynamic, forward-looking institution with many connections to source communities throughout the world.

  1. Museum of Oxford

From 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday

The Museum of Oxford is the only museum dedicated to telling the story of Oxford and its people. It opened in 1975 and immediately intrigued locals and visitors to the city with the story of Oxford and how it has developed. Bringing together a diverse collection, everything from Roman pottery to marmalade jars, the Museum of Oxford wove the story of the city from the prehistoric to the modern day.

In 2011 the Museum of Oxford turned off the lights and embarked on a new project which brought together the Museum’s collection and the heritage of Oxford’s Town Hall. The Museum of Oxford’s ‘Explore Oxford’ galleries opened in June 2012 and tell the story of Oxford and its people in a different way. Explore Oxford presents the city’s past and present in two very different spaces. Exploring the past, visitors can have a look around a Victorian Office and see how the city has developed over the past 3000 years. Continuing into the second space, visitors can take a virtual high-speed bike ride around the city.

  1. Museum of the History of Science

From 12pm to 17pm on Tuesday to Sunday

The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of early scientific instruments in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building, the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street, Oxford. It is an active public museum, offering a programme of public lectures, family-friendly events, gallery tours, table talks and much more, along with taught sessions for schools. As well as permanent displays, visitors to the Museum can enjoy special exhibitions highlighting areas of the collection.

  1. The Bate Collection

From 14pm to 17pm on Monday  to Friday
From 10am to 12pm on Saturday

The Bate Collection is one of the most magnificent collections of musical instruments in the world. The Bate has over 2000 instruments from the Western orchestral music traditions from the renaissance, through the baroque, classical, romantic and up to modern times.  More than a thousand instruments are on display, by all the most important makers and from pre-eminent collectors.