West Berkshire Museum
West Berkshire Museum
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  • CarltonA10
    Stoke Poges, United Kingdom443 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small Free Museum
    I enjoyed a look around this interesting museum which consists of two old buildings joined together with a modern reception area. There are exhibits from Roman and Saxon eras as well as more modern times. The Kennet and Avon canal is covered but there did not seem to be much mention of the railways in the area. Overall: a good small local museum which deserved to be busier than it was.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 13, 2023
  • Gillian F
    Gloucester, United Kingdom19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent small museum
    An absolutely excellent small museum. It really takes you through the development of the area and has some lovely exhibits and interesting information. The staff were extrememly friendly and there is a great coffee shop Added to that, its in a beautiful old building Definitely worth a visit
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 1, 2024
  • ATraveller363
    Hampshire, United Kingdom169 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Charming
    A temporary Egyptian collection on the first floor in room 10 was the draw for me today, nicely displayed and made even better with a guided tour by an expert. As a surprise bonus we had a handling session too. The other parts of the museum I walked through were good.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles85 reviews
Excellent
38
Very good
25
Average
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Terrible
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Cherriesfan99
Cheltenham, UK2,197 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Not far from the bus station, and the Canal Wharf, this excellent local history museum is something Newbury should be proud of. In one of England's most significantly archaeologically and historically rich areas. The West Berkshire Museum (WBM) reflects this, so much to see spread over a mixture of medieval and more modern buildings. Inevitably there are some sections that are whizzed through, but the WBM is carefully and thoughtfully laid out and has sections that highlight important parts of history that had an impact on the region; ie the Civil war, the building of canals and the impact of the railways.
It is a very worthwhile experience ( and is free !) I intend to return sometime soon. Excellent guides are there to help.
Also very good for kids activities !
Written May 7, 2022
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.

CarltonA10
Stoke Poges, UK443 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I enjoyed a look around this interesting museum which consists of two old buildings joined together with a modern reception area. There are exhibits from Roman and Saxon eras as well as more modern times. The Kennet and Avon canal is covered but there did not seem to be much mention of the railways in the area. Overall: a good small local museum which deserved to be busier than it was.
Written November 14, 2023
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.

Gillian F
Gloucester, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
An absolutely excellent small museum.
It really takes you through the development of the area and has some lovely exhibits and interesting information.
The staff were extrememly friendly and there is a great coffee shop
Added to that, its in a beautiful old building
Definitely worth a visit
Written February 1, 2024
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.

Kate
Telford, UK9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
A very well layed out series of exhibitions. Very informative without an excess of information. Everywhere was clean and well maintained. I would love to live nearby so that I could revisit. A beautiful old building repurposed for the set up and free to enter.
Written May 22, 2022
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.

Peter Davies, Crazy Pete
Aberdare, UK67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Fantastic little museum and the café had the most friendly people you could possibly meet. I was only going to pop in for a few minutes but ended up staying for an hour. I often stop in Newbury on my way to and from other places and I will be recommending this place to all my passenger's. Not a full on café with loads of choice but but for a sandwich and a cake at a very reasonably place this is the place to go. Right opposite the toilets and only a few hundred yards from the bus station and coach park.
Written October 25, 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.

ATraveller363
Hampshire, UK169 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
A temporary Egyptian collection on the first floor in room 10 was the draw for me today, nicely displayed and made even better with a guided tour by an expert.
As a surprise bonus we had a handling session too.
The other parts of the museum I walked through were good.
Written March 16, 2024
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.

GarryUK
Newbury, UK392 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
Lovely museum giving a history of West Berkshire from pre-historic times to the present. We moved to Newbury recently and it really gave us a wonderful overview of the towns history as well as the surrounding towns and villages and countryside in West Berkshire. Its on two floors and has lots of interactive things for children to do. Part of the building is from the original 17th century cloth hall and corn wharf. It has a small shop and tea room. Entrance is free but they have a donation box to help fund the ongoing activities etc. Recommend a visit!
Written January 3, 2018
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.

John B
Newbury, UK13 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
The museum was shut down after a visit from a jobsworth fire safety officer. Four years on and £1.4m of lottery and taxpayers' cash later, ta da....the swish new building looks good, but the contents somewhat 'minimalist'.

Apparently, the building is far too small to display more than 10% of the museum collection (begging the question of why renovate it and not just move somewhere bigger).

More importantly, it's no longer Newbury Museum (as it was when bequeathed to the council), but is now West Berkshire Museum.

This means that there's nothing on Greenham airbase, Civil War battles, Buckingham's Rebellion...with generic odds and ends about country life and rural industry.

I hope they get it together soon, or we'll have an underused museum to go with a string of previous council successes - our underused cinema, our underused tudor mansion, and our underused new shopping mall.
Written October 27, 2014
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.
Dear Steve Thanks for review. I hope I can clarify a couple of points that you were unhappy with. The museum has a proportion of its collection on display at any time. It varies depending on the exhibition but 10% is about average for a museum and much of the material we don't have on display at the moment is used by researchers or others with a specialist interest. It includes quite a lot of bulk archaeology (boxes and boxes of soil and broken pottery) which isn't very displayable but tell us so much about particular sites. The museum has been West Berkshire Museum since 1998. It was a deliberate decision that the refurbished museum wouldn't have permanent fixed displays but that every gallery would be temporary and change regularly. Indeed, our Civil War exhibition opens at the end of September 2015 and Greenham Common is set to be a blockbuster for the year after. We hope that this constantly changing programme will allow us to explore well-known and less well-known stories from around the whole district. I'm happy to say that our visitor figures so far suggest that we won't suffer from under-use and I hope you'll give us another go some time in the future. Victoria - Museum Manager
Written February 5, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gilfoys
Wiltshire, UK22 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Solo
The descriptions were very poor, e.g. An axe head was described as 'normally having a wooden handle ' but didn't tell me where it was found, what importance it had to the local area. One room had a weaving exhibition (I think), another was completely empty - I understand that the museum is taking a new approach but a local museum with few exhibits and very little local reference was very disappointing.
Written September 30, 2015
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.
Dear Gilfoys Thank you for your review. I'm sorry you were disappointed. With approximately 2,000 objects in 11 different and regularly changing galleries, we hope that people will find something they enjoy. To address a couple of your concerns, we identify the findspots of archaeology where it is known and has significance for the object. The exhibition you saw has information about groups of objects serving a similar purpose and not individual labels as these would mean less space in a case for artefacts while adding no further information. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the work of the Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Other visitors have enjoyed the weaving demonstrations and work on display. As part of our remit as a community museum, we regularly work with local groups to present their work in exhibitions. I'm afraid I'm not sure which room you mean when you say it was completely empty. All our galleries are currently in use and when we change exhibitions, we generally do this when we are closed and if we are working on a display, it is clearly signposted. Sincerely Victoria Barlow Museum Manager http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g190745-d7147860-r315114737-West_Berkshire_Museum-Newbury_Berkshire_England.html#
Written October 5, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ElaineNewbury
Newbury, UK51 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Solo
As with other reviews I am so sad that the museum so sparse, I have just returned fron Doha and the museum of islamic art was outstanding ! imformative local and world wide culture full of ancient artifacts, obviosly Newbury would not be able to manage that on a budget, but I am sure the civil War mememoabilia is some where stored, Newbury had great battles, and the Castle goes way back, I understand that as a new project you would want a modern outlook, but a museum is after all called that for good reason, to look back to Newbury of the past.

We watched the buildings change being re-structered and was hoping that the old building would be included ! glass windows are not my favourite architectural features, my son is a landscape architect in Qatar so was also sad that Newbury not really showing much of the culture. I will return but hoping for much more to view on display rather than having to sift throughdrawers
Written June 30, 2015
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.
Dear Elaine Thanks for your review. I'm sorry the museum wasn't to your taste. As the museum for the whole of West Berkshire we take the approach that a museum reflects and comments on the heritage and culture of the area rather than the perhaps more traditional approach of a storeroom for objects. You may be interested to know that we have an exhibition about the Civil War in West Berkshire planned for October. We are currently working with a public steering group to prepare the display. Yours Victoria
Written July 27, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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