Dartford Museum comprises a single gallery with themed exhibits displayed in a 'shop window' setting. The museum is very small but well worth a visit when in Dartford. There is a programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. What the museum lacks in size, it makes up for in terms of the quality of the exhibits. The star exhibit is an incredibly rare and fragile Saxon (Christian) glass bowl - the Darenth Bowl c.450AD which is dedicated to St Rufinus. This bowl was found in the grounds of the local hospital. Also on view are early Prehistoric flint hand tools from the world-famous Prehistoric site at nearby Swanscombe where one of Europe's oldest skulls was found. There is also a good selection of quality Roman and Saxon objects on display excavated from local sites. Look out for the massive Roman stone coffin (complete with skeleton) from East Hill, Dartford. A part reconstruction of a local Draper's shop - complete with working Lamson 'cash railway' - will entertain younger visitors. Some provision is made for children's activities in the gallery and a small range of souvenirs and local history books is available. Dartford is only one of two towns in Britain that has a bird named after it. You can see a specimen of a Dartford Warbler (sylvia undata) on display in the gallery. The Curator is friendly and welcoming and willing to identify objects free of charge. A good place to spend half an hour, but do check opening times in advance of a visit as opening hours are limited.
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