Museums and local history around Bath

Museums in Bath  

Bath Postal Museum – learn why postal services worldwide owe so much to Bath and its illustrious residents Ralph Allen and John Palmer. Listen in on the lives and experiences of postmen and postwomen past and present.

No 1 Royal Crescent – historic furniture, pictures and objects that reveal what life was like for Bath’s fashionable residents – both upstairs and downstairs.

Museum of Bath at Work – Celebrating Bath’s Industrial & Commercial Heritage. A large historic collection of film, photographs, documents, sound recordings and objects that tell the story of working Bath.

The Old Theatre Royal – 12 Old Orchard Street is an anonymous building in a quiet cobbled backstreet of this city of architectural gems. But behind the door is a unique 265 year history that has seen it become the first Theatre Royal outside of London, then a Catholic Chapel where bishops were ordained and, since 1865, the home of one of England’s oldest provincial Masonic Lodges.

The Roman Baths – the Roman Baths, at the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site, consists of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The city’s unique thermal springs rise in the site and the Baths still flow with natural hot water.

The Museum of East Asian Art – The only UK museum solely dedicated to the arts and cultures of East and South East Asia, with collections representing more than 7,000 years of artistry and craftsmanship.

The American Museum – the only museum of Americana outside the United States, it was founded to bring American history and cultures to the people of Britain and Europe.

Bath Medical Museum – records dating back to the 1740s, artefacts, memorabilia, and photographs relating to rheumatology, medicine and pharmacy.

Museum of Bath Architecture – explores the rich architectural history of Bath and its transformation from a provincial town into a world famous Georgian city.

The Fashion Museum – founded by Doris Langley Moore, a designer, collector, writer and scholar, who gave her famous private collection of costume to the city of Bath.

Herschel Museum of Astronomy – dedicated to the many achievements of the Herschels, who were distinguished astronomers as well as talented musicians. It was from this house, using a telescope of his own design that William discovered the planet Uranus in 1781.

Holburne Museum – city’s first public art gallery, the Grade I listed building, is home to fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne.

Beckford’s Tower and Museum – built between 1826 and 1827, Beckford’s Tower is an extraordinary building that was once home to one of the greatest collections of books, furniture and art in Georgian England and now stands as the only surviving example of William Beckford’s great architectural achievements.

Victoria Art Gallery – the public art museum in Bath. It is run by Bath & North East Somerset Council and houses its collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts.

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution – a charity promoting advancement in the arts and sciences.


Combe Down Heritage Society – celebrating and preserving Combe Down’s heritage. CDHS aims to foster an interest in Combe Down’s past, record and interpret its history and keep an archive of all heritage information, make the heritage accessible to residents and visitors and to communicate its work widely, involve young people and support and encourage all sources of education. Combe Down Heritage Society Facebook page

Prior to Now – a history of Combe Down. Prior to Now Facebook page

Combe Down Facebook pages:

Prior to Now

Combe Down

Prior Park

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Friends of Bath Jewish Burial Ground

Combe Down Tunnel

Tucking Mill

To celebrate the Millennium, the Monkton Combe branch of the Women’s Institute decided to compile a book celebrating the last 100 years of the village.

The more interesting aspects of Widcombe’s history compiled by members of the Widcombe & Lyncombe Local History Society with help from the archivists at Bath Record Office and Library, and from books about the area and other sources.

The heritage of South Stoke.

Bear Flat History Group a local history website, dedicated to researching the history of Bear Flat and its environs.

The Bathford Society your access point to historical information for the parish of Bathford including census data, maps, photos and the current programme of talks.

Bathampton Village Local resources, education, history for Bathampton.

The Anatomy of an Edwardian Suburb of Bath. 1911 Suburban Census Studies, Suburb 1 – Poet’s Corner – Bear Flat – Bath

Community website with the history of the Twerton, Whiteway and Southdown areas.

Larkhall History Society. A recently formed society (2008), that meets monthly, to find out more about the place we live in. Larkhall is on the outskirts of Bath, yet despite being just two miles from the centre of Bath, it still has a village feel and lots of history.

Englishcombe – portrait of a very English parish – including Haycombe, Inglesbatch, Kilkenny, Nailwell, Padleigh and Barrow Hamlet

Hinton Charterhouse Village website – Local History. Much of the village history ties in with the former Carthusian Priory dating from 1232. The priory was founded in 1232 by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, who also founded Lacock Abbey.

Freshford Village website – Freshford and District Local History Society. Meetings are held in the Freshford Memorial Hall on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society. The Society was formed in 1965 as a non-profit making voluntary organisation concerned with researching and recording the history of the Keynsham and Saltford area. Since 1965 the Society has amassed a large archive of photographs, documents, maps and transcripts from primary sources and newspaper articles.

Timsbury community website. Timsbury has a long and varied history dating from occupation in the Bronze Age. These pages will help you to find out more about Timsbury’s history, use sources such as the census, directories and maps to carry out your own research, and locate further information and sources on-line or in libraries and record offices.

Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society. The Bath & Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) was formed in 1949 by the late Bill Wedlake. Initially called the Camerton Excavation Club the first President was Ethelbert Horne, F.S.A., the Prior of Downside Abbey. His successor was Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The Society has led or been involved in many exploratory and training excavations and has had an important role in the preservation of historic sites and antiquities in Bath and the surrounding area. Notable excavations include those at Camerton in Somerset and Nettleton in Wiltshire.

The Frome Society for Local Study. Founded in 1958 by a number of townspeople who realised there was a need to make the history of Frome and the district better known, and to preserve its historic buildings and records.

Bitton Parish History Group. One of our main aims is to preserve and make accessible our rich local history. We are please to have your contributions to the site on articles about Bitton, North Common, Oldland Common, Swineford, Upton Cheyney, Beach and Willsbridge.

Brislington Conservation and History Society. The Society holds regular meetings in local venues, holds exhibitions, and assists with enquiries about Brislington and family connections. Members receive a regular newsletter. Talks on Brislington and its history are given to interested groups, illustrated with photographs from our extensive collection and we are also happy to support other bodies with associated interests.

History of Bath Research Group. The History of Bath Research Group was founded in 1986 with the objective of bringing together historians who were actively engaged in research in the Bath area. Members have a passion for Bath and its heritage and many members are actively engaged in researching some aspect of the history of Bath. Many of the members have published on different aspects of local history (including studies in the Journal Bath History) and have given papers at meetings or contributed in other ways.

Family History


SDFHS, Somerset and Dorset family history society. The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society was founded in 1975 and helps people to research their family history, especially those with ancestors in the two counties. The Society’s Family History Centre is in Sherborne, Dorset and includes an excellent local and family history library.

The site for Family Historians in Wiltshire. The Society’s aim is to encourage the study of family history, including both Wiltshire ancestry of people world-wide and world-wide ancestry of Wiltshire residents.

Federation of Family History Societies. The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity supporting, informing and advising its membership, which consists of family history societies and similar bodies across the world.