Essex has many interesting museums spread across the county. While there are none that quite match the grandeur and size of the bug London museums, many provide an excellent alternative. The opening times and prices are subject to change so please contact the museum before leaving home.
Here we list most, if not all, the museums in Essex. Essex has a wide variety of museums. Many of the ones listed here are small, part time and voluntary run museums. Museums cover topics such as Essex’s history, agriculture, ship building and the arts.
Barleylands Farm & Craft Village
A rural life museum in the heart of Essex. Includes a Discovery Centre and Farm Park. The museum experience take your from the past agricultural life of Essex to present day agribusiness. Plenty of vintage machinery including steam engines. Daily shows plus special events throughout the year. Also home to the Essex Country Show.
- Open from 10am every day all year round. Prices £8-9.
- Barleylands Farm, Barleylands Road, Billericay, CM11 2UD.
- Tel: 01268 290213
- Web: www.barleylands.co.uk
Beecroft Art Gallery
A small art gallery in Westcliff-on-Sea. The collection includes with a 17th century Dutch paintings and more contemporary art. They also host the Essex Open Exhibition and runs exhibitions throughout the year.
- Opens at 10am Tuesday to Saturday, close for lunch.
- Station Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex SS0 7RA
- Tel: 01702 347418
- Web: http://www.southendmuseums.co.uk/
Bishop’s Stortford Museum
Not in Essex, but close enough for a day trip.
Bishop’s Stortford Museum, also known as The Rhodes Museum was established in 1938 in two listed Victorian buildings which are the birthplace of Cecil Rhodes, Victorian empire builder.
- Open Monday – Sunday from 10am. Admission free.
- Bishop’s Stortford Museum, Rhodes, South Road, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3JG
- Telephone: 01279 651746
- Web: www.rhodesbishopsstortford.org.uk
Boxted Airfield Museum
Boxfield was used by the USAAF and RAF during and after World War II. In fact, it was the most important U.S. fighter base during the Second World War. The first Air-Sea Rescue was formed at Boxted too. Managed by the Boxted Airfield Historical Group.
- Open on selected dates throughout the Spring and Summer – see website for details.
- Langham Lane, Langham, Essex, CO4 5NW
- Tel: 07747082085
- Web: www.boxted-airfield.com
Braintree District Museum
The museum looks at the history of Braintree and the surrounding area, with exhibitions on textile and manufacturing industries of Courtaulds, Warner & Sons and Crittalls; displays of Castle Hedingham pottery; plus works from Great Bardfield artists, and Essex straw and lace.
- Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am. £1.50 – £3, children free.
- Manor Street, Braintree, Essex CM7 3HW
- Tel: 01376 325266
- Web: www.braintree.gov.uk/directory_record/4923/braintree_museum
Brentwood museum is in a Sexton’s cottage at a now disused Victorian cemetery. There are local history displays as well as relics from the first and second world wars.
- Cemetery Lodge, Lorne Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5HH
- Open on the first weekend and the first Monday of each month between April and October, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
- Entry is free – but please confirm before visiting
- AS the museum is small and not open very often, do call before making a visit.
- Tel. 01277 218854 / web: www.brentwoodmuseum.org.uk
Brightlingsea Museum has many maritime displays that allow you to travel through time and experience stowboatred and oyster fishing as well as boat and ship building. They are also the only member of the Cinque Port Confederation located north of the River Thames.
Free entry, open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Sundays and Mondays from 2pm to 5pm, during the Spring and Summer months only. Always phone first.
- 1 Duke Street, Brightlingsea, Essex CO7 0EZ
- Tel: 01206 303286
Located in the heart of Chelmsford, Chelmsford Museum is open daily during term time and only closed on Fridays during school holidays and half term. It opens at 10 am every day.
- Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 9AQ
- Tel: 01245 605700
- Web: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/museums
Colchester Castle Museum
Colchester Castle takes you through history from the time of the Roman occupation, Norman invaders and the story of Queen Boudica. 2000 years of history within a castle.
- Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TJ
- Monday – Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm / Sundays, 11.00am – 5.00pm
- Adults – £6.25 Children & Concessions £4.00, under 5’s free
- Tel: 01206 282939
- Web: www.cimuseums.org.uk/castle
Essex Regiment Museum
Really a part of the Chelmsford Museum, the Essex Regiment Museum has some exciting displays at the showing the history of the Essex Regiment and the Essex Yeomanry.
Open every day of the week, times vary. Free entry.
- Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 9AQ.
- Tel: 01245 605700.
- Web: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/essexregimentmuseum
More Museums in Essex
Currently we can only provide the name, address and telephone number. More information coming soon.
- Colne Valley Railway – Yeldham Road, Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DZ. 01787 461174
- Combined Military Services Museum – Station Road, Maldon, Essex CM9 4LQ. Tel: 01621 841826
- Cressing Temple – Witham Road, Cressing, Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD. Tel: 01376 584903
- East Anglian Railway Museum – Chappel Station, Station Road, Chappel, Colchester, Essex CO6 2DS. Tel: 01206 242524
- Epping Forest District Museum – 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1EL. Tel: 01992 716882
- Essex Collection of Art from Latin America – University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ. Tel: 01206 874438
- Essex Fire Museum – Grays Fire Station, Hogg Lane, Grays, Essex RM17 5QS. Tel: 01375 379167
- Essex Police Museum – PO Box 2, Headquarters, Springfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6DA. tel: 01245 457150
- Frinton Crossing Cottage & Garden – Crossing Cottage, Station Approach, Frinton on Sea. Telephone: 01255 861440
- Fry Art Gallery – Castle Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1BD. Telephone: 01799 513779
- Great Dunmow Museum – Mill Lane, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 1BG. Telephone: 01371 878979
- Havering Museum – 9-21 High Street, Romford RM1 1JU. Telephone: 08452 707737
- Hollytrees Museum – High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1UG. Telephone: 01206 282940
- James Stevens No.14 Lifeboat – Walton on the Naze, call 01255 673705 for information.
- Maldon District Museum – 47 Mill Road, Maldon, Essex CM9 5HX. Telephone: 01621 842688
- Manningtree Museum – The Library, Manningtree High Street. Telephone: 01206 391255
- Mersea Island Museum – High Street, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8QD. Telephone: 01206 385191
- Museum of Power – Hatfield Road, Langford, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QA. Telephone: 01621 843183
- Natural History Museum – All Saint’s Church, High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1DN. Telephone: 01206 282941
- North Weald Airfield Museum – Ad Astra House, Hurricane Way, North Weald, Essex CM16 6AA. Telephone: 01992 523010
- Prittlewell Priory – Priory Park, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex SS2 6NB. Telephone: 01702 434449
- Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge – Rangers Road, Chingford, London, E4 7QH. Telephone: 020 8529 6681
- Rayleigh Windmill Museum – Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED. Telephone: 01702 546366
- Royal Gunpowder Mills – Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1JY. Telephone: 01992 707370
- Saffron Walden Museum – Museum Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1JL. Telephone: 01799 510333
- Sandford Mill – Sanford Mill Waterworks, Sandford Mill Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6NY. Telephone: 01245 475498
- Southchurch Hall – Southchurch Hall Close, Southchurch, Southend on Sea, Essex SS1 2TE. Telephone: 01702 467671
- Southend Central Museum – Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex SS2 6EW. Telephone: 01702 434449
- Southend Pier Museum – Marine Parade, Southend On Sea, Essex SS1 1EE. Telephone: 01702 614553 / 611214
- Thameside Aviation Museum – The Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury, Essex, RM18 8PB. Tel: 01375 844203
- The Little Baddow History Centre – Chapel Lane, Little Baddow, Essex CM3 4BE. Telephone: 01245 221601
- The Peter Edwards Museum & Library – The Ford County Ground, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0PG. Telephone: 01245 252420
- Walton Maritime Museum – Old Lifeboat House, East Terrace, Walton–On-The-Naze, Essex CO14. Telephone: 01255 850737
- Warner Textile Archive – Warner Textile Archive, Silks Way, Braintree, Essex CM7 3GB. Telephone: 01376 557741
Many of these museums are only open part-time. Most do have a website, so searching Google should help you to find more information. Many are run by volunteers and often the telephones can only be answered when the museum is actually open.