Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

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Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

important Announcements

In order to best preserve the collections in the safest manner possible, and to ensure that the museum's 600,000 artefacts remain free for all visitors to discover, the decision has been made to restrict public access to the museum on Mondays.


Maidstone Museum is home to a vast collection of fine art and historical artefacts of international importance and is free to all visitors. Founded in 1858 as the Charles Museum - after local Doctor Thomas Charles bequeathed his art and antiquities to the Borough Council in 1855 - the museum is housed in Chillington Manor, a charming Elizabethan Mansion in Maidstone town centre.

With over 600,000 artefacts, Maidstone Museum enjoys the prestige of possessing one of the largest collections in Kent, and is renonwed as being one of the best museums in the South East. Among the most auspicious collections at the museum are those relating to Archaeology, Costume, Ancient Egypt, Ethnography, Biology, Fine Art, Geology, Local History, and Japanese Decorative Arts and Prints.

Bentlif Art Gallery

Within Maidstone Museum is the Bentlif Art Gallery, an extensive collection of watercolour and oil paintings donated by the Bentlif brothers. In addition, the renonwed Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum is located on the premises, proudly documenting the history of the QORWK and its predecessors since the mid-18th century.

Events and exhibitions

In addition to the permanent collections, Maidstone Museum regularly features temporary exhibitions and collections over the course of the year. These high-quality and diverse touring collections ensure that there is always something new and exciting to discover on your visit to the museum. We also offer great exhibitions for hire, as well as exhbition space to rent in our Café Gallery.

A packed calendar of events, activities, and workshops take place at Maidstone Museum, ranging from hands-on childrens' workshops to tours and talks suitable for all ages. Our schedule of Museum Late activities, meanwhile, provide an even greater insight in the exhibits, collections, and culture of the museum, as well as offer a fun and convivial atmosphere to meet the team and mix with other visitors.

Group visits

Maidstone Museum is a fantastic place to come for a group visit. Whether it's as a family or on an organised tour, don't miss the opportunity to experience the fun and interactive tour with the museum's mascot, Spike. Via one of our iPads, Spike - an Iguanodon - will join you as you discover more about the museum's history and collections.

The Museum is also very popular for school visits, while birthday parties for children can be made truly memorable by being hosted on site.

Want to support the museum?

There are many ways you can help support the museum. From donations to volunteering, joining the Maidstone Museum Foundation to applying to one of the job vacancies available, becoming an integral part of the Maidstone Museum team is simple.

Enquire today

If you're interested in making use of the Museum's Enquiries/Identifications Service, Object Acquisition Programme (Donations), or are simply looking to conduct research relating to our collections, visit our advice for collection enquirers page today. We'll be delighted to answer any questions you may have and help support you in your enquiries.

Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St. Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1LH

New Wing

Opening Times

Currently open Tue - Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm. Please note that we are no longer open to public visitors on Mondays

Quick Links

Events Calendar

  • Friday 29th April to Sunday 22nd May 2016

    Brenchley Room 2
    All Day

    Kathy Keefe Originals

    Discover a range of artworks from Kathy Keefe - 'People's Choice' winner in the 2015 Bentlif Open...

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  • Saturday 14th May to Saturday 25th June 2016

    All Day

    Time: Making Art Work

     “Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's...

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  • Thursday 26th to Thursday 26th May 2016

    Cafe Gallery
    7:30pm-9:00pm

    Speed Dating

    Got the hots for heritage or a crush on culture? Meet your match at the museum! Join us in the...

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