Quality Hotel Colchester
A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction
Colchester, EN CO7 7QY
Phone: (44) 1206 230900
Fax: (44) 1206 231095
Arts & Museums
At first sight, this structure is tall, flat and has several window on each floor. With one floor seemingly tucked into the ground, the Hollytrees Museum was a former private residence. Right from the time it was built, this house has had several owners and the last purchase was made in 1922 by Viscount Cowdray and his wife, after which this structure was converted into a museum specializing in Colchester's local history.
Firstsite is an organization focusing on contemporary art, and has been in existence for more than a decade. This gallery was originally housed in lovely house from 18th Century, known as Minories Art Gallery. The new building is spectacularly designed by Rafael Vinoly, a celebrated architect. Today, Firstsite presents to visitors a challenging and a varied programme of art exhibitions, screenings, residences and commissions, through an eclectic range of art forms and media. Art works on display here belong to several international and national artists.
Castle House was the home of the renown artist Alfred Munnings from 1919 to 1959. Here he lived with his wife Violet and painted some of his best pieces. This lovely Georgian and Tudor style house is now home the world's largest collection of the artist's work, which includes pieces from every stage of his life. The exhibits change over time, each covering a specific theme or time period from Munnings' life. Apart from his exquisite artwork, Castle House has also retained some of the original furniture and other artifacts that belong to the house, and Munnings studio has been preserved. A number of events and learning activities are held regularly, aimed to encourage the appreciation of art amongst the participants and the growth of their own artistic skills. Group visits are welcome and can be arranged even outside of regular opening times. The cafe, gardens and house are also open on bank holiday Mondays apart from the usual open times.
Holding the town's stories and giving you the opportunity to understand the town's history, stands the Ipswich Museum. The museum has been formed through years of curating exhibits to amalgamating different museums into one ever since its founding stone was laid in 1846. Today, the museum houses anything and everything that has a connection to Suffolk's culture or history from the Iron age to the Romans to the Saxons. There is also an Egyptian gallery to amuse the visitors. The museum itself is housed in a very interesting structure which speaks of the ancient charm of the town.
The Clifford Road Air Raid Shelter is an example of a public shelter, many of which were built around the UK as a means to save the people from air raids. The shelter is located under the playground of Clifford Road Primary School. It has now been turned into a museum. It is capable of holding several hundreds of people. The shelter had been forgotten about till a group of workmen found a staircase leading to the shelter in 1989. The museum provides a peek into the life during World War II as you pas through the dimly lit tunnels with the sounds of air raids outside.
With over 100 exhibits relating to the transport history of the town, the Ipswich Transport Museum has a massive collection of local vehicles. The exhibits were collected over a period of 40 years and is the most comprehensive collection with bicycles, prams, lorries, police cars etc. It speaks of the transports systems of another era and includes items from various transport manufacturing companies. Though indirectly, the museum will add greatly to your understanding of the town.
The fascinating Museum of Power is located in a former Water Pumping Station in Langford, Essex, England. The museum offers a unique and interesting insight into the industrial aspect of power generation. Educational exhibits and important information regarding power are delivered to visitors, children and adults alike, in a fun and exciting manner. The pièce de résistance of the museum is its 50 year old ‘Lilleshall’ steam pump also on display. The charming little Steam Pump Tearoom is a cute little cafe where visitors can indulge in a delicious cream tea. The site is popular tourist haunt and is a favorite of people of all ages making it a great spot for a day out with the family.
Combined Military Services Museum is a local museum founded by Richard Wooldridge, a person whose invaluable contributions - consisting of his personal collections pertaining to Britain's commendable military history - are currently displayed at the museum. The museum has a collection of memorabilia, artefacts and authentic gear belonging to the army, navy, air force, special forces and the extremely intriguing secret services. From the humongous number of items displayed at the museum, the Cockle Mark II canoe is very popular.
A prime landmark in the region of Stowmarket in Suffolk County is the Museum of East Anglian Life. The museum is a rare kind which proffers the agricultural history of the entire East Anglia through a stellar mix of live history demonstrations and exhibits. The museum dates back to the year 1967 when it was opened for general public viewing. The most distinguishing factor that makes the museum stand out is that its 75 acre area constitutes a range of historic buildings including the Abbot’s Hall, Boby Building and the Alton Watermill to name a few.
Ancient House in Clare has been turned into a spectacular museum of local history. This listed heritage structure dates back to the medieval times and was built in 1473. It is a timber framed building with carved oriel windows and a timber ceiling. Today, part of the house is owned by the Landmark trust and has been turned into an accommodation and part has been turned into a local museum with vast collections of data and artifacts relating to the town and its people.
Mangapps Railway Museum encompasses the history of the heritage railway line. It has the one of the largest collections of railway items in Britain from restored railway offices to lamp huts. The signalling collection is the most comprehensive with a wide variety of telegraphs, single line and associated equipment. Most of the artifacts date back to the 19th century. The surrounding area has many restored railway buildings. A great way to peek into the past of the British Railways.
Woodbridge has the proud heritage of being one of the first tide mills in the country. This mill also has the credit of being the last working mill in the country and had been operating for over 800 years. The living museum here tells of an interesting history of this place. Constructed of wood, the mill is well-preserved and a humble reminder of the Industrial revolution. The site was initially used by a medieval mill built in 1170 until the present mill was built. The mill closed down commercial operations in in 1957 and works now only to educate and display the workings to the tourists. It is one of the only tide mills in the UK that grinds wheat regularly.