England Travel

The Oxfordshire Museum

The Oxfordshire Museum, also known as Oxfordshire County Museum is a small, free museum in the town of Woodstock. It was close to the camping site, so it was a perfect place to go to. We went there in the afternoon, on the day we’ve got to the camping site. It was too late in the day to visit the Blenheim Palace, so, instead, we postponed the visit to the palace, and decided on visiting a small museum and having drinks in a lovely 16th century pub, The Black Prince.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Garden

The museum has a lovely little garden, you just have to pass through the entrance and the cafe to reach it. It looks like a nice place to have a cup of tea and a scone.

The museum is not that big and it can be visited in one hour. That was really great for us, as we got there quite late, a couple of hours before closing time. There are different rooms with exhibits from the iron age, going through the Roman and Anglo-Saxons periods, and up to the 20th century.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Mirror

This mirror is called the Oxfordshire Mirror. It is an Iron Age decorate mirror. Not only it looks gorgeous with all its details, it is also very rare. Less than 60 mirrors are known to survive from that period. This is the back of the mirror, decorated with La Tene artwork. On the other side was polished very smooth, making it reflective.
In that era, mirrors were items that reflected the high status of the owner. They would have been used as we are using a mirror today, but also for talking with the dead, magic, and fortune-telling.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dress

This dress belong to May Morris, the daughter of William Morris, well known for his Arts and Crafts movement. I do love his style. The dress dates back to 1820s. It was bought at a sale in the 1940s and it was worn by the buyer. It was donated to the museum.
May had an interesting life. She worked at Morris&Co and at 23 she was in charge of the embroidery department. She got married at 28 with Henry Halliday Sparling, only to divorce 8 years later, after she had an affair with George Bernard Shaw. She also designed jewellery. In 1907, May co-founded the Women’s Guild of Arts. In the end, she found her happiness with landgirl Mary Lobb.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Tool

The Oxfordshire Museum. Jug

Jug made around 1270 – 1399, when this form was very popular. It was found in the courtyard of St. John’s College, Oxford.

The Oxfordshire Museum display

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dress

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the issue of women’s suffrage was talked about in the whole country. Organizations started to appear everywhere. In 1869, 160 people from Oxfordshire signed a petition calling for women’s suffrage, followed by petitions from Oxford and Oxford University. The women went in caravans to London to protest, join marches. They were also involved in arson attacks.

The uniform was of Ada Maud Cornish, a nurse during the First World War. The contribution the suffragettes made to the war effort, also made politicians realize that women were strong and responsible, and they could and should vote.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Display

Hot Air and Vapor Bath Cabinet. It was said to cure almost anything, from colds to obesity to kidney and liver diseases. “There is hardly a disease that can resist the power of heat.” Sounds like some of the superfoods ads we see today.
Well, Victorians could enjoy this bath in their homes without the need for an assistant. Also, it folds, for easy storage.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dresses

The Great Exhibition

Memorabilia from the Great Exhibition of 1851. I can only imagine the wonder of that exhibition, Prince Albert’s amazing idea. After ~170 years, we are still going to trade fairs, so that says all about his legacy.

Victorian Bricks

Quite an array of bricks, all Victorian.

Glove making

The tools of the trade for glove makers. I hadven’t seen them before, so it was fascinating.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Garden

This is the garden, to relax in. Besides, there are two rooms for children.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dinosaur garden

This is the Oxfordshire Museum Dinosaur garden. It is something that is worth visiting in itself. That is a life-size megalosaur, around him there are plants that were around when the Dinosaurs were roaming the Earth. There are also Dinosaur footprints.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dinosaur footprints

These 168 million-year-old dinosaur footprints were excavated at the Ardley Quarry in Oxfordshire. The footprints belonged to a megalosaur. The animal left the print in the mud, as it was very hot, the mud was baked hard by the sun before being washed away by rain or swept by winds.

Around the area, hundreds of footprints were found. A few were excavated and moved to the museum, so people could see them.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dinosaur footprints

There were footprints of cetiosaurs too, a plant-eating dinosaur with four legs, 18 m in length and weighing 25 tonnes. Some of the footprints show the dinosaurs were running. It is noticeable by how they had to push harder to accelerate.

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dinosaur era plants

The Oxfordshire Museum. Dinosaur garden

The Oxfordshire Museum is in Fletcher’s House, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN. Free entry. Nearby there are a few free parking spaces on road, for up to 3h. On their website, they mention that there is a free public car park located in Hensington Road. See more on the museum’s website.

3 Comment

  1. I’m currently reading a mystery series that takes place in Oxfordshire and having spent a summer there many years ago, I was quickly drawn to this post.

    This looks like a wonderful museum and one I’d love to visit. I, too, was surprised to see the dinosaur (and footprints) appear near the end! There appears to be something for everyone there!

  2. Oh this place looks lovely and well worth a visit! I wasn’t expecting dinosaur footprints to pop up that’s for sure!

    Sarah 🙂

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