Opening Times

Maidstone Museum

Tue to Sat - 10am to 5pm
Sun - 12pm to 4pm

Museum of Carriages


QORWK Museum

Tue to Sat - 10am to 5pm
Sun - 12pm to 4pm

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery is home to a vast collection of fine art and historical artefacts, with over 600,000 items of international importance that are free for all visitors to discover. 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.

Renowned for possessing one of the largest collections in Kent, we take pride in being one of the best museums in the South East. With collections dedicated to archaeology, costumes, ancient Egypt, ethnography, biology, fine art, geology, local history, and Japanese decorative arts and prints, a visit to Maidstone Museum in Kent represents a rewarding and fascinating day out for all ages.

Queen's Own and the Museum of Carriages

Within Maidstone Museum is the Bentlif Art Gallery, an extensive collection of watercolour and oil paintings donated by Samuel and George Bentlif, while the popular Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum (QORWK) is also located within the main building. The QORWK museum proudly documents the history of the famous local regiment, recounting its exploits and campaigns in the British Army.

Also part of Maidstone's museums is the iconic Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages, home to more than 60 magnificent road carriages in the former stables of the Archbishop's Palace. The collection was the gift of Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, 12-time Mayor of Maidstone, and features such models as Queen Victoria’s State Landau, antique sedan chairs, and Victorian ‘growlers’.

Events and exhibitions

Maidstone Museum regularly features temporary exhibitions and collections, with a calendar of events bringing a range of cultural works to the region. These high-quality and diverse touring collections ensure that there is always something new and exciting to discover on your visit to the museum, and takes in an eclectic selection of works from local and international artists and exhibitors. Exhibition space is also available to rent within our Café Gallery.

A packed calendar of events, activities, and workshops takes place at Maidstone Museum, ranging from hands-on workshops for children 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.

Welcome to Maidstone Museum

Did you know your Internet Explorer is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Just click on the icons to get to the download page

If you understand that your browser is inadequate but you still wish to view the site click here