Situated on the River Anton, a tributary of the Test, the historic market town of Andover boasts two museums in the same building.
Andover Museum, telling the story of the town and surrounding area, opened in 1981, and it was joined in 1986 by the Museum of the Iron Age, which tells the story of nearby Danebury hillfort.
Grade II listed, the museum building started life as a Georgian townhouse in the mid 18th century. Evidence of this can be seen in the fine staircase, wooden panelling and decorative fireplaces. In the 1840s, the building was purchased by local philanthropist Martha Gale who gifted it to Andover Grammar School. The brick extension that houses the Museum of the Iron Age was added in the 1880s.
Things to do
The museum is a great place for the whole family to enjoy. Here are just a few of the things you can do during your visit:
- Discover the history of Andover from the Neolithic era to the current day
- Children can explore the dressing-up corner where there is a selection of fun and historic themed costumes
- Check out our regular programme of family-friendly craft days with drop-in make-and-take activities and bookable workshops
- Spot the objects around the museum with our fun activity sheets
- Visit our welcoming café and browse the museum shop
The story of Andover
Starting on the ground floor, the galleries reveal the importance of the local geology and natural history of the area, the all-important chalk streams and the abundance of flint, used to form stone tools.
The first floor galleries continue the story, starting in the Neolithic era and finishing with Andover in the 20th century. Along the way, learn about the origins of Andover, its royal connections, its development through the medieval period and its reputation as a riot town during the Industrial Revolution.
In 1846, a scandal unfolded in Andover Workhouse that was to stir the nation. A diorama shows the pitiful state to which the inmates sunk, chewing bones they were supposed to be crushing for fertiliser, having been deprived of food and dignity by the master and an uncaring board of governors. The scandal led to a change in the way workhouses were monitored nationally.
Immortalised as Weydon Priors by Thomas Hardy, at its height in the early 18th century Weyhill Fair offered as many as half a million sheep for sale, alongside many other types of livestock and commodities such as leather, cheese and hops. Look for the tale of the horning cup.
Founded by the Tasker brothers in the early 19th century, the firm initially made agricultural implements in their factory known as the Waterloo Ironworks in Anna Valley. They later moved into steam power and manufactured the Little Giant steam tractor. As the use of steam power declined, they moved into making trailers including the Queen Mary trailer used to move aircraft in WWII.
Temporary exhibition gallery
Situated on the ground floor, the temporary exhibition gallery displays work by local people and groups. Amateur and professional artists and craftspeople can apply to exhibit in the gallery or to present their work in the community to a wider audience.
Hot and cold drinks and snacks are available from our café.
Bring your own cup!
Get 30p off your next hot drink in the museum café when you bring your own reusable cup! Simply present your cup to a member of café staff to claim your discount.
The museum has a free car park with a disabled bay. There are steps to the front entrance with handrails and an accessible entrance to the rear of the building. The ground floor, including the shop and temporary exhibition gallery, is accessible to wheelchairs. There is a stairlift to the first and second floors. There are some restrictions in the building, please contact us on 01264 366283 before making a special journey.
Hampshire Cultural Trust is a registered charity. The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on all of us. Please donate to help us re-connect our communities through culture.
Andover Museum has a number of self-led school sessions available and can also accommodate other group visits. Please contact us on 01264 366283 for more details.
By car: from the A303 and inner ring road, follow signs for the town centre and brown signs for Andover Iron Age Museum. At New Street roundabout, turn into Newbury Street and then first right into Church Close. The museum is the last building on the right. Our car park is next to the museum and pay and display parking is available off Newbury Street.
By rail: the museum is within walking distance of Andover Station. At the end of Station Approach, turn right into Charlton Road. At the roundabout, head right, cross Western Avenue Road then head up Charlton Road into Marlborough Street. At the top of the road, turn left into Newbury Street and then take the first left into Church Close.
By bus: Andover Bus Station is a 10 minute walk away through the Chantry shopping centre. Follow blue signs in the High Street
Andover Museum is situated near the town centre in a Georgian town house with a Victorian extension and has two rooms available for hire. Our top floor meeting room can be set up in theatre style to seat up to 40 people or boardroom style to seat up to 20. The resource room provides a meeting space for smaller groups and activities.
To find out more and to book, please call 01264 366283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Introducing Test Valley’s Biggest Celebration of Art and Culture!
Test Valley Borough of Culture 2020 is a year long festival of events, led by and for the community, celebrating the people, places, heritage and culture of Test Valley.
Organised by Test Valley Arts Foundation, the festival aims to make the arts and culture accessible for everyone. Recognising the rich variety of cultural events and activities already taking place in the region, the Borough of Culture programme will celebrate and promote those events and help artists and performers to reach new audiences.
The festival is also supporting the creation of new community arts events which animate areas where there is little or nothing on offer, particularly engaging the Valley’s rural communities.
From workshops to music festivals, competitions to art trails and plays, the programme aims to represent a diverse range of organisations and connect with people of all ages and backgrounds across the region. Yinnon Ezra MBE, Chairman of Test Valley Arts Foundation said, “Our vision is to inspire creativity, innovation, joy, emotion and expression everywhere!”
All artists, performers, events organisers, schools, clubs and cultural organisations are invited to register their events for free on the website and benefit from inclusion in the widespread promotion offered throughout the festival.
To find out what’s on and how to take part visit www.testvalley2020.org