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Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, Maidstone

(4/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery a local authority-run museum located in Maidstone, Kent, England, featuring internationally important collections including fine art, natural history, and human history.OverviewIn 1855 Thomas Charles, a local doctor and antiquarian, left his collections of art and antiquities to Maidstone Borough Council, requesting that his executors, “make such arrangements as they should think fit for the permanent preservation thereof in the town of Maidstone, and the same to be called the Charles Museum.” The Council subsequently acquired Charles’ house, Chillington Manor, from his executors and, in 1858, opened it as the Charles Museum, later renamed Maidstone Museum. The Museum was one of the first to be opened as a result of the Museums Act (1845) and was a founder member of the Museums Association (1909). Maidstone Museum celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008.This museum contains over 600,000 artefacts and specimens. Its collections, housed in the centre of Kent’s county town, are among the most comprehensive in the South East. The Museum is one of three operated by Maidstone Borough Council - alongside the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum and the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages - and is open six days a week. Admission is free.BuildingThe Museum's central core consists of an Elizabethan manor house, formerly known as Chillington Manor, completed in 1577 with earlier Tudor buildings to its rear. In the early 18th century a substantial wing was added to the west of the Tudor house. Upon the death of Thomas Charles an in accordance with his estate, Maidstone Borough Council purchased the building in 1856 for the sum of £1,200, investing a further £300 for repairs. On January 20, 1858, the Museum opened as one of the UK's first local authority-run museums, appointing Edward Petty - a friend of the late Thomas Charles - as the museum's first curator in September.
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5 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Kent BY A USER FROM OMAN May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Maidstone BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Kent BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES July, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Royal Tunbridge Wells & Maidstone BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, kids, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Maidstone BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Maidstone BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM NORWAY May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Maidstone BY A USER FROM BELGIUM April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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TripAdvisor
  • Decided to visit to see the new extension for the first time. Impressed with the look of the outside but disapointed that the copper looked tatty and was covered in birds mess. Warm welcome from the y...  more »
  • This venue is in the centre of Maidstone, and there is nowhere to park close to it. A Park& Ride service used to cover this side of town, but has now been closed. There is a Park & Ride into Maidstone...  more »
  • I was all the time passing in front of the museum and I never took the decision to enter, is not a big place but have lots of different rooms with different exhibitions, the Japanese, Egyptian, the ar...  more »