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Welcome to Maidstone Museum

Opening Times

Maidstone Museums

Low Season / Term Time
Wednesday 1 November - Saturday 16 December
Wednesday-Saturday 10am-4pm (Last entry 3:30)
Closed Sunday - Tuesday

Museum is closed for the winter from Sunday 17 December 2022 and reopens on Wednesday 7 February 2024

Carriage Museum

The Maidstone Carriage Museum is currently closed. 


Located inside Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum 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 Carriage Museum

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 Maidstone Carriage Museum, 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 the westspace.

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 into the exhibits, collections, and culture of the museum, as well as offering a fun and convivial atmosphere to meet the team and mix with other visitors.