Worcester City Museums
Welcome to Worcester City Museums’ Web Site… Designed by Museum staff.
Art Gallery & Museum
The site aims to provide you with the very latest news on exhibitions, activities and events at our two sites – The Commandery and The City Art Gallery & Museum – as well as a host of information about the Museum’s Collections and Worcester’s History.
The Commandery and Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum are now part of a larger Museums Service, which includes the County Museum at Hartlebury Castle. Why not visit all of our attractions and see what you can discover?
History of Worcester Museum Buildings
Worcester Museum was founded in 1833 by the members of the Worcestershire Natural History Society and claims to be one of the oldest regional museums in the Country. The collections were described as miscellaneous by one of the first curators and were originally shown in temporary rooms in Angel Street.
In 1835 a new building was built to house the collections in Foregate Street on the present site of the Odeon Cinema. The museum was called the Hastings Museum in honour of Sir Charles Hastings, who was president of the Worcestershire Medical Society and a consultant physician at Worcester Infirmary. He is also famous for helping to set up the British Medical Association.
Museum Building History
Worcester’s first museum – The Public Library and
Hastings Museum – built in 1835 on the present site of the Odeon cinema.
Unfortunately, during the 1860’s the museum went into decline and the artefacts in the museum were described as being covered in dust. In 1879 the Free Libraries Act was adopted in Worcester and the Museum, Art Gallery and Library were amalgamated and given renewed funding.
In the 1880’s the museum committee sought the advice of the British Museum and Dr Henry Woodward submitted a long report making recommendations on the future management of the Museum.
In 1894 the foundation stone was laid by King George the V for a new building to house the Museum, Art Gallery and Library. This building was opened to the public in 1896 and is the present home of Worcester City Art Gallery, Museum and Library.
Also known as St Wulfstan’s Hospital, this fascinating site offers displays about the history of the building as well as a major exhibition on the English Civil War. With a full programme of activites and events throughout the year, and with its own gardens and nearby Fort Royal Park, the site makes for an ideal family visit.
Thurs – Sat : 10am – 6pm
Sun : Closed
Mon – Wed : 10am – 8pm