History of the Museum

The Buckinghamshire County Museum reopened in 1995 after a £4 million refurbishment, and is now one of the finest museums in the country – friendly, with a lively atmosphere and always something new to see.

Innovative, touchable displays reveal the natural and cultural heritage of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, for visitors of all ages.

The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery opened in 1996 and was described as ‘Without doubt the UK’s best hands-on museum for children’ by the judges of the Gulbenkian award in 1997.

The museum cares for more than 100,000 items, in collections built up over the last 150 years. Here is the best of Buckinghamshire’s heritage: archaeology, social history, natural history, geology, art works and photographs, as well as nationally important collections of British studio pottery, costume and lace. Not all of these fascinating objects can be displayed at one time.

The Museum buildings themselves have a fascinating history, with parts of them dating back to the 15th century. The buildings consist of four distinct areas along with a large enclosed garden. The links below lead to pages based on articles about the history of the museum, which have been researched and written by Chris Stone, one of the museum’s longest serving members of staff.

There is a detailed history of how each part of the museum was developed and when by our former log standing staff member Chris Stone – just click History of the museum.

Click on History to see a detailed History of the Museum buildings with diagrams and colour coding telling the story of each of the buildings through time  (PDF Download)