The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is an Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury. This award winning facility provides state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, excellent educational facilities and a varied programme of events for all ages. The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who studied medicine before emigrating to Australia, where he found his success. Upon his death in 1891, Dr Beaney left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge. A cultural hub in East Kent, praised for its welcoming atmosphere, providing a range of services under one roof, uniting art, heritage, books, ideas, information and collections. Whether you are a frequent Library user, a teacher on a Schools Workshop, a parent enjoying the perfect cup of coffee in our Cafe or an inquisitive explorer studying our treasures from the Ancient worlds; The Beaney is a building for everyone.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • 138Paul138
    Canterbury, United Kingdom968 contributions
    Great free museum
    Located on the high street. Took relatives from Australia into the Beaney on a damp January day. It really is worth a visit, easily takes an hour or so to look around. Many exhibits relate to past Canterbury residents who explored the world. The exhibits cover the ancient to the more modern. Lifts available for wheelchair users and prams. Toilets onsite. Overall a very good place to visit.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 8, 2023
  • JaneMLondon
    109 contributions
    Prepare to be surprised by how much is here
    Small museum and gallery packed full of interesting odds and bits - a lot donated by the great and the good from Canterbury's past (including the funds to build it) and also showcasing some of its famous residents. Particularly liked the room about childrens' TV in the 60s and 70s. Very nostalgic! Free to visit and in the same building as the tourist info centre. Spent much longer there than we had expected
    Visited January 2023
    Written January 22, 2023
  • Trang69
    2 contributions
    If you have a spare hour or two when you are in the city, pop in and see for yourself
    We visited the museum yesterday on our way back from a concert in Margate. We wanted to see the Firmin/Postgate (Smallfilms) exhibition on the 1st Floor. To be honest, the whole museum was really interesting. There were art displays on the Ground Floor, including a display by a local artist which my wife and I really enjoyed. The artist was there and we spoke to him before we looked at his collection. In the opposite room there was another art display, again, very interesting. We then went up onto the 1st floor to see the exhibition rooms and the Small films display. There was a fascinating mixture of pictures, clothes and artifacts, some from local collections, and some that had links to people in the area. All well displayed and plenty to explore. Then we went to see what we went to the museum for. There is whole room dedicated to the work of Peter Firmin, Oliver Postgate and their families and friends. Anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s will immediately reccognise such characters as The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and our personal favourite, Bagpuss. This exhibition is a must see for anyone who loved these programs as a child. There are the original props, characters, memorabilia and some really rare and personal items from the Firmin/Postgate collection. We both found the whole experience delightful...and we got to see the "Actual" Bagpuss! The staff were great too and were very friendly and informative. If you have a spare hour or two when you are in the city, pop in and see for yourself
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 18, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
736 reviews
Excellent
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Terrible
8

Glass half full
London, UK142 contributions
May 2021 • Family
Arrived at The Barney to find an insurmountable set of steps, but then discovered there is an excellent alternative (and via a lift wheelchair accessible) entrance on the side of the building in Best Lane which was manned by helpful assistants in tabards and all the necessary sanitiser. After checking in via the NHS app we had a wander around the small main exhibition of eclectic art and objects from around the world before a quick trip around the Thomas Becket room. All the items were very well displayed with informative plaques. There were no entrance fees. If you have small children there was a dedicated assistant with drawing materials so that they can recreate the objects in an artwork to take home. There was also a small gift shop. 45 minutes later we were back in the sunshine. We found it interesting and it would be a great wet weather stop off.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dr. Kingshuk Das
Romford, UK217 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is truly a wonderful place to visit. The art exhibits displayed in the Garden Room and the Front Room were amazing. Moving on to the galleries upstairs - there were exhibits for all age groups and interests, including doll houses, artefacts from all over the world, stuffed animals and birds, stones and jewelleries to name a view.

A place worth visiting - it is free as well, though they would really appreciate a donation from you to keep the place running.

Written March 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephenbkk20156
Okayama Prefecture, Japan712 contributions
Aug 2019
We went here after glowing recommendations from local people, only some of which turned out to be accurate. Yes, it was free Yes, it was a good place to go on a rainy afternoon. Yes, the building was striking and historic, but like the Cathedral itself it was covered in so much scaffolding that it was difficult to appreciate this. No, it wasn't a wonderful collection. Eclectic, yes, in a way that local, municipal collections tend to be. A little bit of this, a little of that. Enough breadth that anyone could find something to fascinate them but not world class, unique or even "very, very special" (as one person said, in any way. Interestingly presented? Check, a lot of thought had gone into the way individual exhibits were displayed, but there was no over^arching display concept, any more than there was a unity to the exhibition itself.

The tourist office on the ground floor is absolutely wonderful. That's where we started, informing ourselves about just about everything Canterbridgian. Tokk the lift to the top and worked our way down. Looked and lots and lots of things. Lingered over only a few. Very taken by a series of letters on display. But that's just us. Others will find other things to fascinate them. Left wondering what all the fuss was about.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pat O
Margate, England, United Kingdom35 contributions
Aug 2020
The outside of the building is impressive, take time to look up and take in the whole building. Once inside there are numerous room all with interesting objects, take your time to look around. There is a room which they have added attractions and projects specifically for children. I believe the building was once the old library. It is often missed by prospective visitors just walking passed in this historic city, it is a too wonderful experience that should not be missed.
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, The Beaney
Written August 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Caninecaper
London, UK222 contributions
Mar 2020
We popped in on a day visit to Canterbury. Fascinating place with lots of articles related to local people which ranged from art, victorian taxidermy to peoples personal collections of artifacts. All fascinating. It is great to see a local museum with free entry.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ezy
Horley, UK34 contributions
Jul 2020
A great collection of artefacts by Dr Beaney. He may have been shunned in his time but he certainly paved the way forward for us all in his career. Lots to look at in the museum, wonderful that it is free. A great experience and a must do in Canterbury. One of the staff on the main entrance (hailed from Longford, Ireland) was most helpful and friendly and not only helped us to get the most out of the Beaney museum, but helped us with some other sites around Canterbury that we wanted to see, he made our day (sorry I can't remember his name, but thank you)
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Sarah, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and have passed your comments on to our Front of House team. We hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, The Beaney
Written August 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christine R
Welwyn Garden City, UK961 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Pleased to find the museum open and with a one way system in place. Some interesting exhibits - it reminded me a bit of the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford or the Natural History museum in Tring - various artefacts from overseas plus stuffed birds! Wasn’t personally fussed about the artwork, much of which was by a prominent local artist. Can’t get too excited about paintings of sheep and cows. Friendly and helpful staff.
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! We hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, The Beaney
Written October 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kashvili
London, UK163 contributions
Oct 2021 • Solo
On a day trip to Canterbury I discovered this delightful museum and library. a collection of paintings started my tour, quick drop into small gift shop, then up to higher floor where I found a display of dolls house layouts. it’s quite eclectic! I was also able to see the Georgia O’Keefe drawings exhibition. For disabled people there is a lift. It is certainly somewhere to visit when in Canterbury. It is free but a donation is always welcome I am sure.
Written October 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

crag1975
Bushey, UK62 contributions
Sep 2020
This was a really cute museum. It had some wonderful stuff there. I never knew the creator of Bagpuss lived nearby. Some cracking Thomas Sidney Cooper paintings too and a disturbing picture depicting the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket. Relaxing to walk around. Some really interesting stuff. Recommend.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Richard, Thanks very much for taking the time to leave a review! We're always really pleased to receive positive feedback and we hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards, The Beaney
Written October 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stephanie C
6 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
Visited Brickmas at the Beaney with my 3 year old grandson. It looked great on the website with a picture of Santa outside a log cabin, but in reality it is a tiny room in the museum with
for it just a santa, 3 elves and 2 reindeer made of bricks roped off. Plus lego models made by local children which were under perspex. My grandson was terribly bored as he couldn't touch anything. We were in there 5 mins tops so wasn't worth driving into canterbury for it. At least it was free!
Written December 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Good Morning, Thank you for your comments and we are sorry to hear the free Brickmas exhibition did not meet your expectations. The Brickmas exhibition was a community project, bringing together Bricks and Christmas to offer a free festive experience for our visitors. It featured a professional life size brick Santa, Reindeer, elves, plus a festive selfie station for children. Recycled bricks donated by the public to us in the autumn were also sent to local schools for children to create some additional festive models, which also featured in the exhibition. Children could then come and see their school's model on display with their family and vote for their favourite, for their school to be in with a chance to win a LEGO education kit worth £500. As advertised, this exhibition was part of a wider free Christmas brick trail through the City Centre, in partnership with Canterbury BID, that bought the City alive with wonderful Christmas models in shop window. The Beaney was the final trail destination out of over 30 others around the City. As also advertised, we hosted payable fun, hands-on workshops on the opening weekend, where children could build fantastic robotic creations, bringing them to life using motors, sensors and coding. Whilst the majority of feedback from visitors on this event has been overwhelmingly positive, please be assured that all your comments will be fed back to the relevant team members and taken on board. Best wishes, The Beaney
Written January 20, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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