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Bate Collection, Oxford

4.6
#8 of 13 in Museums in Oxford
The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments is a collection of historic musical instruments, mainly for Western classical music, from the Middle Ages onwards. It is housed in Oxford University's Faculty of Music near Christ Church on St. Aldate's.
The collection is open to the public and is available for academic study by appointment. There are frequent gallery events and special exhibitions. More than a thousand instruments by important English, French and German makers, are on display, showing the musical and mechanical development of wind and percussion instruments from the Renaissance to the current day.
The collection is named after Philip Bate who gave his collection of musical instruments to the University of Oxford in 1968, on the condition that it was used for teaching and was provided with a specialist curator to care for and lecture on it. The collection also houses an archive of his papers.
The Bate Collection is additionally the home of the Reginald Morley-Pegge Memorial Collection of Horns and other Brass and Woodwind Instruments; the Anthony Baines Collection; the Edgar Hunt Collection of Recorders and other instruments; the Jean Henry Collection, the Taphouse Keyboard Loans; the Roger Warner Keyboard Collection; the Michael Thomas Keyboard Collection; a number of instruments from the Jeremy Montagu Collection; a complete workshop of the English bow-maker William C Retford, as well as a small collection of Bows formed in his memory, the Wally Horwood Collection of books and recordings, and other instruments acquired by purchase and gift.
Use our Oxford trip planning tool to visit Bate Collection on your trip to Oxford, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Bate Collection Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
43 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Looked closed when I went; returned a bit later when I saw another group going. Turns out you have to ring a bell to get in. Didn't spend very long but what I'm pleased I got to see this collection. S...  more »
  • Passed this museum and saw that it opens in the afternoon between 2pm and 5pm so made a note to go back. The door is locked and you have to press the bell for someone to allow you access. We were warm...  more »
  • I have known about this music collection since I came to Oxford last year, but due to works in school, I didn't able to go there, although it is only about 1.5 kilometres away from where I'm currently...  more »
Google
  • Very nice museum with several instruments available to try! Recommend to visit this place during your stay in Oxford. It will be equally interesting for kids and for adults.
  • Very interesting museum. Well worth the visit if you are interested in historical instruments, especially keyboards
  • Within these rather dingy & hidden away rooms (on St Aldgates & Floyds Row) what a surprise ! A magnficent display of over 2000 period musical instruments - some of these can be heard on a handheld device as you go around - a friendly & knowledgeable keeper of the collection - anyone with an interest in music should go to see it next time they're in Oxford.
  • The collection is interesting because you can listen to the collected Instruments On recordings and some instruments you can try out, children should like it, you can see the history of the instruments manufacturing, if you have Chance to go there take it, I like to return
  • incredible museum would recommend to anyone musically inclined
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