Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum




Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is housed in a beautiful Victorian building in the heart of Worcester.  The gallery runs a lively programme of exhibitions, activities and events. The museum hosts a unique programme of contemporary art exhibitions, as well as housing a historic picture collection and an intriguing selection of objects ranging from a 19th century chemist’s shop to the wonderful Regimental Museum. As well as regularly changing Museum and Gallery exhibitions, there is an atmospheric Balcony Cafe all of which is fully assessable to all.

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. 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 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.


Worcester City Museum has a geological collection of around 12,000 specimens. It contains a wide variety of geological material – rocks, fossils, minerals, ores, gemstones, meteorites and models. Most specimens are from British sites and range in age from the Precambrian to the Quaternary, representing around 2000 million years of the Earth’s geological history.

The strength of the collection lies in its comprehensive range of the local fossils and rocks, particularly those from the Malvern Hills – one of Britain’s most important classic geological areas. However, the collection also has superb minerals and surprisingly interesting vertebrate fossils. Many specimens are of excellent quality and others can no longer be collected today.

The Collection was mainly assembled in the 19th Century. Many specimens were collected during the construction of the railways and others came from sites that no longer exist or are now protected.

Some specimens are just beautiful and fascinating objects, others are scientifically important specimens and therefore the collection has national significance.

Rocks, fossils and minerals are displayed in the museum gallery, including an Iguanodon footprint, a three toed dinosaur of the cretaceous period, who made this footprint over 130 million years ago. An Ice Age display complete with Woolly Mammoth tusk, Hippopotamus vertebra and Red Deer antler transports you back in time to the birth of the River Severn. Well worth a visit!

Explore the Geology and Landscape around Worcester Museum

  • Geology and landscape trails in the immediate area are:

Explore the bedrock and superficial geology of Worcester City on the British Geological Surveys ‘Geology of Britain Viewerclick here to be directed to their webpage

Facilities and attractions

  • The Worcestershire Soldier exhibition – The collections of the Worcestershire Regiment and Worcestershire Yeomanry
  • Steward’s Chemist Shop
  • Worcester City Museum Gallery – a collection of breathtaking variety and interest including natural history, archaeology and social history
  • Geology cabinet – a selection of rocks and fossils from the historical collection housed at the museum
  • Ice age display
  • Temporary art and artifact exhibitions
  • Activity Space – a lovely bright and welcoming space for all the family
  • Workshops and events
  • Bite-sized Talks – Join the curators on the second Tuesday of every month for a fascinating lunchtime talk about our exhibitions and collections
  • School holiday activities
  • Balcony Cafe – The Little Ginger Pig Company at the Balcony Cafe serves fresh and homemade produce
  • Toilets with baby changing facilities
  • Gift shop
  • Fully accessible and has an easy access toilet.
  • Lift entrance is at pavement level
  • A wheelchair is available for public use
  • The Gallery is equipped with an Induction Loop
  • Guide and assistance dogs welcome
  • Art Gallery Hire for evening functions and meetings for up to 80 people

National Curriculum linked activities for schools:

  • Portrait Workshops
  • Munching Caterpillars and Beautiful Butterflies
  • Toys of the Past
  • Gloves and Shoes
  • Woodland Magic
  • Fighting Armour and Paper Dragons
  • Natures Treasure Trove
  • Fossil fun!
  • Worcestershire at War

Opening times

Opening Times 2015

  • Monday – Saturday: 10.30am – 4.30pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed

Christmas Holiday Closures 2015

  • Closed at 1.30pm on 24th December
  • Re-open as normal on Monday 28th December
  • Closed at 3.30pm on 31st December
  • Closed Friday 1st January 2016

Admission to Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is FREE

Worcester city Art Gallery and Museum photo gallery

Contact information