Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle


Hartlebury Museum Aug 2015 (7)



From costume to caravans, travel to toys there really is something for everyone at Worcestershire County Museum. Learn more about this fascinating county, explore the past through room sets and real historical objects and discover just what life was like for our ancestors. Whether you are looking for a trip down memory lane, a chance to learn something new, a peaceful stroll through nature or just a nice cup of tea and a cake, Worcestershire County Museum has it all. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and exciting events throughout the year. Admission to Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is FREE

Worcestershire County Museum is housed in the servants quarters of Hartlebury Castle, home to the Bishop of Worcester since the 16th century. The site has been owned by the Church since 850AD and a manor house was built here as early as the 13th century.  The museum exhibits a nationally important collection of colourful Gypsy caravans, beautiful costume, social history, archaeology, travel & transport,  examples from ‘The Bromsgrove Guild’, toys through time and galleries which explore the intriguing story of Worcestershire’s past. Visitors can also see room sets such as the schoolroom and scullery, which are regularly brought to life by visiting schoolchildren and period rooms that focus on the Victorian and Civil War eras.

Geology and landscape

Diagram of the Worcester Basin

Diagram of the Worcester Basin

Hartlebury Museum and much of Hartlebruy parish sits upon Triassic- aged sandstone, specifically the unit of rock known as the Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation which is approximately 237 to 251 million years old.

If it were possible to travel back in to the Triassic perioid both the landscape and environment would be differ greatly to that of today.  During the preceding geological period, the Permian (299-251 million years ago), a great rift valley formed due to movement along two almost parallel fault line; the East Malvern Fault and the Inkberrow Fault. A flat-topped prism of rock was created between the two faults which slowly fell by about 300om to form a rift valley, the Worcester Basin.  During the Permian and Triassic times the basin began to fill with erosion products.

Triassic sandstone used as a building stone in Hartlebury Museum

Triassic sandstone used as a building stone in Hartlebury Museum

The distinctly red coloured Bromsgrove Sandstone of Hartlebury formed from rivers flowing through the Worcester Basin depositing mainly sand and gravel material in channels to form river terrace deposits.


Explore the Geology and Landscape of Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle

  • The Geopark Way long distance walking trail passes close to the museum. through Severn Valley Country Park. Section 5 of the trail guide Bewdley to Larford Lake. Why not combine a walk along the trail with a visit to the museum. Trail guide available from the Vmuseum shop.
  • Section 5 of the Geopark Way also available as an App. The app has a map of the section overlain on an interactive geology map. Using GPS you get your position and a feed of data about the geology and other information as you walk. Other information’ includes photos of the walk with directional guidance, 3D cross-sections, and interpretations of past environments.Created by BrooksDesigns

Explore the bedrock and superficial geology of the Severn Valley Country Park area on the British Geological Surveys ‘Geology of Britain Viewer’click here to be directed to their webpage

Facilities & attractions

  • Travel and Transport exhibition
  • Springs, Spas and Holidays exhibition
  • Civil War gallery
  • From Plough to Plate – Worcestershire’s rich agricultural history
  • Childhood Treasures galleries
  • Victorian social history galleries including cchoolroom, nursery  & scullery
  • Craft work by the Bromsgrove Guild
  • Forge and wheelwrights
  • Cider Mill
  • Rocks and Landscape of Worcestershire gallery
  • The State Rooms – The Castle’s magnificent Georgian Saloon and the Medieval Great Hall are also open to the public during normal museum hours from 1 April – 30 September
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Events and activities held throughout the year
  • School holiday childrens and famaily activities
  • Learn & Lunch – A series of fascinating talks & tours
  • Behind the Scenes Tours
  • An education service where pupils can enjoy creative on and off site cross-curricula linked sessions for Key Stages 1, 2 and beyond
  • Resources for teachers
  • Object loan service for schools
  • Museum on the Move
  • Gift shop
  • Café
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Nature reserve
  • Ample Free Parking
  • Museum is pushchair friendly or pushchairs can be left in the Museum lobby if you prefer
  • Lift to all floors
  • The shop, cafe and Orchard picnic area are all wheelchair accessible
  • Dedicated car parking spaces and toilet facilities are available
  • Hearing Loops are provided in Shop, Reception and Video Introduction

Opening times & admission charges

Opening Times 2018

Hartlebury Castle is open from 1 February until 23 December 2018.

  • Mondays (except Bank Holidays) and Good Friday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday-Friday: 10.00am-5.00pm
  • Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays: 11.00am – 5.oopm

 Admission charges  for whole site ( the Bishops House, County Museum & Grounds) 2018

  • Adult:  £9.00
  • Seniors (60+):  £8.00
  • Children (5-16 years):  £5
  • Family (2 adults & 2 children):  £25.00

Visit as many times as you like in a year with a great value Annual Pass

·         Family Annual Pass: £45

·         Individual Pass: £22

·         Grounds Only Pass: £20

·         Grounds Only Individual Pass: £10

On occasion we do have to close the Bishops House so if access to these rooms is an important part of your visit please call in advance to check that the rooms are open.

Worcestershire County Museum photo gallery

Contact information