Thinking of visiting a museum this Easter? There are ten to choose from in North Bucks.
There’s a location map here for each one, but they might not help you find the museums, as these maps are all about 120 years old! I have taken pity on you, though, and provided addresses with postcodes, and links to each website.
Here are the museums, starting from the most Northerly museum and working South. There’s also some details about what's changed since these maps were made. The maps are all courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.
The Cowper & Newton Museum is in Orchard Side House, Market Place, Olney, MK46 4AJ, in the 18th Century home of the renowned poet William Cowper. His friend John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. Here you can learn their story.
They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm, but closed Good Friday 7th April.
Milton Keynes Museum is on McConnell Drive, Wolverton MK12 5EL. It was set up as the museum of local history for the new town of Milton Keynes (now a city). They say:
“We firmly believe that, as whenever possible, artefacts shouldn’t remain behind glass but should be available for visitors to reach out and touch. We think of ourselves as the people’s museum; it isn’t our history, it is your history.”
They are open Wednesday to Sunday and on Easter Monday, 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Before the new town came this was a spot near a junction of back lanes,midway between several villages. Just to the left and at the highest local point, just above the number 370 (elevation in feet) on the map is the Secklow Hundred meeting mound.
At top right you can see Down’s Barn, which gave its name to the estate that now includes the barn.
The National Film & Sci-Fi Museum is in Lloyds Court, Central Milton Keynes. the address is: 34 Secklow Gate West, Milton Keynes, MK9 3AT.
It is “dedicated to the preservation, restoration and exhibition of the art, skills and dedication that goes into delivering some of the world’s most successful films and tv shows."
The museum "has a series of dedicated displays of genuine and replica props and memorabilia from across all genres of Film & Sci-Fi.”
Open Wednesday and Thursday 11am – 5pm, and Friday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.
Houses near the railway on the right hand edge of the map came because of the railway, which is when Bletchley started to grow. During the war the area wasn’t too different from what you see here.
Bletchley Park is at The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB. They say: “Discover the incredible achievements of Britain's World War Two Codebreakers, in the place where it happened.”
(And) “Immersive films, interactive displays, museum collections and faithfully recreated WW2 rooms will guide you on a journey to discover the past at Bletchley Park.” They are open every day from 9:30am to 5pm.
The National Museum of Computing is in Block H, Bletchley Park, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB. Access is through the main entrance to Bletchley Park, but they are an independent museum.
They say: “Follow the development of computing: from the Turing-Welchman Bombe and Colossus of the 1940s through the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, to the rise of personal computing and …. mobile computing and the internet.”
They also say: “The Museum is typically open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, however, this is subject to change.” Opening times are 10:30am to 5pm.
The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre is on Station Road, Quainton, Aylesbury, HP22 4BY.
They say ”Our Steaming Season runs from Sunday 2nd April until Sunday 29th October. We are open most Sundays for visitors to enjoy steam train rides, visit the Railway Museum and Visitor Centre, and wander around 25 acres of Railwayland. We are also open on certain other days”.
Open this weekend Friday to Sunday, 10:30am to 5pm, for a Day Out With Thomas.
Since this map was printed, there has been the usual building of houses. The Tunnel cement works which operated from 1937 to 1991 has come and gone, (on the bottom left of this map) and there are now more houses on the site. The museum is based around the old Pitstonegreen Farm.
Ford End Watermill is just North of Ivinghoe, on the B488. The address is: Station Rd,Ivinghoe, Bucks LU7 9EA.
They say: “This little mill, recorded in 1616 but certainly very much older, was in use until 1963. Restored by volunteers, and now maintained and run by Ford End Watermill Society, it is the only remaining working watermill in Buckinghamshire with original machinery.”
Open with milling demonstrations on Easter Monday (and on other days throughout the year, including bank holidays) from 2:30pm to 4:30pm.
Pitstone Green Museum is on Vicarage Road, Pitstone, LU79EY. They say: “The Heritage Park, Pitstone Green Museum, is a fascinating blend of attractions from the past, based in the once redundant buildings of an old Victorian farm.”
They are open Easter Monday (and on other days, including bank holidays) from 10:30am to 4:30pm.
The area just above the railway station on the map is now parking, and towards the market square there’s now a large shopping centre and of course Pooley’s Folly
The Discover Bucks Museum is in Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2QP. They say: “We collect and share objects and stories reflecting the people, culture and landscapes in Buckinghamshire. We encourage visitors to join us on journeys of discovery.”
They are open every day except Sunday 9th April until Saturday the 15th April from 10am to 5pm. But they are usually open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
As you might guess by now, Haddenham has grown enormously since this map was made. Not shown because it wasn’t built until 1906 is the Western and Great Central Joint Railway, now the Chiltern Main Line.
It ran diagonally across the bottom left quarter of this map and the station built on the lane that runs by Diggs farm, the lane gaining the name Station Road.
The Haddenham Museum is in The Old Schoolroom, behind the Methodist Church, 23 High Street, Haddenham, HP17 8ES. This is a small but very nice museum and entry is free. They are open on Sundays 2 to 4:30 pm, and Tuesday from 10am to Noon.
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