Charlbury Museum

The history of your town, your family, your house, your shop: you will find it at Charlbury Museum, run by a sub-committee of the Charlbury Society.

Founded in 1949, Charlbury Museum reopened for the 2019 season on Easter Saturday.  also open on Easter Sunday and Monday from 2.30 to 4.30 pm.  This year’s exhibition, Wagons, wool and wheat, feature farmers and farming in Charlbury.  The newly restored wagon will return in August to the room built for it with the generous donations of Charlbury people and organisations in 2002.  Visitors will also see the painting by William Bowly of Duck Shooting in Cornbury Park, repaired and restored in 2018, and memories of Charlbury Women’s Institute which was founded a century ago in 1919.




1949 – 2017

The Museum is housed in part of the Corner House. The Charlbury Society owns the museum collection, and sets up the Museum Committee to manage it. With the help of about fifty volunteers, the Museum opens on about 70 days each year to the public, with extra visits by small groups and individuals all through the year and in one week in December 2015 by all Charlbury’s 300 school-children. The museum contains much valuable information about the town’s history and heritage, and is the town’s chief tourist attraction. Visitors come from Charlbury, other local towns, other parts of the UK and all over the world. There is an increasing number of enquiries by email and telephone, particularly about family history. Two of our volunteers maintain the museum garden and lawn. In 2000 the museum’s Millennium Project was to raise funds by public appeal to build the Wagon Room, and the return of the newly-restored wagon is likely to take place within the next few months.

In the summer of 2017 the Museum held a successful Exhibition and Sewing Bee, and published the story of Charlbury during the First World War.

The museum is largely self-supporting, but the Committee appreciates very much the support and generosity of the Corner House & War Memorial Hall Committee and the Town Council in allowing us to use five small rooms in this attractive building in the town centre.

A corner in the Reg Smith Room, featuring gloving and shoemaking artefacts

Henry Allen, Draper:  The featured exhibition in 2017 tells the history of the Henry Allen Drapery Shop which was located in Church Street opposite the entrance to St Mary’s Church.

Henry Allen, Drapery Shop exhibition display in the Wagon Room, Charlbury Museum, 2017


In addition to our permanent collection, we stage temporary exhibitions each Season.  Below is a list of the subjects researched over the last ten years: –

 In 2018, the Charlbury Museum was open every weekend, from Easter to the end of September, with an exhibition about the The Wychwood Project  and Charlbury’s links with Wychwood Forest.


2017   Henry Allen

2016 Bessie Marchant and Local Sports Clubs

2015 Bicentenery of Charlbury School

2014 Charlbury and WWI

2013 John Kibble, Stonemason & Historian (poster below)

2012 Charlbury in 1950s (poster below)

2011 Charlbury’s Guides & Scouts

2010 Entertainment

2009 Gardens & Allotments

2008 Charlbury’s Post Office


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Contact us:

You can order our WWI book either by visiting the museum, or by calling our treasurer, Diana Bennett, tel 01608 810197, email The book marks the centenary of the First World War and how Charlbury people served their country. Glover, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: Charlbury and the First World War, is only £8 per copy. Cheques should be made payable to Charlbury Museum.

To request special visits to the museum, please contact Janet Jeffs, Tel: 01608 810709, email

Visit the Charlbury Museum and the Charlbury Society pages on the Charlbury website to learn more.

Publications for sale:

As previously mentioned,  Glover Tailor Soldier Sailor: Charlbury And The First World War, tells the story of men and women from Charlbury who served in the Great War.  The book, priced at £8,  is available from Cotswolds Frames, Market Street, Charlbury.  For postal enquiries please contact Diana Bennett (Treasurer, Charlbury Museum) on 01608 810197 or email

Book poster revised A5