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Kingswood Heritage Museum

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Kingswood Heritage Museum

Contact Kingswood Museum

The Museum is located in the former Champion Brass Works, at Tower Lane, Warmley BS30 8XT, just off the A4174 Avon Ring Road (Cadbury Heath exit). Buses 19, 19a , 42 and 43 stop nearby.

Enjoy free parking, toilets, refreshments and a book and gift shop.

Kingswood Heritage Museum
  • Phone: 0117 960 5664
  • Website www.kingswoodmuseum.org.uk
  • Email:

Opening Hours

Kingswood Heritage Museum is open for the 2018 season on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 27 November from 2.00pm until 5.00pm, and on Bank Holidays between 11.00am and 5.00pm.

The grotto and gardens are open at Bank Holiday weekends, but only on the Sunday and Monday (ie not the Saturday).

The Museum is closed December to March inclusive.

We are always pleased to entertain group visits from schools and local societies, and refreshments can be provided. Interested parties should make contact via email to or by telephone at 0117 960 5664.

Latest News

Kingswood Heritage Museum 2019 talks season

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum is pleased to announce its 2019 talks season.

From April onwards the Museum will once again be hosting a series of monthly talks about subjects of interest to local people. These will range from the history of Frenchay to the story of grottoes like the one at Warmley – and, later in the season, Chris Skidmore MP will give the audience his view of King Richard III!

Please see the events calendar for details of individual talks.

The small entry fee of £3 will include light refreshments. For more information contact the Museum, telephone 0117 960 5664, or via email.

New exhibits for new season

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum is gearing up for its new season, starting in April.

Volunteers have been at work for weeks, creating new exhibits for 2019 and refurbishing last year's displays, as well as improving access to the Museum itself.

There are two new major exhibits for 2019. The first is a display created by Kingswood District Scouts, including photos of the activities of many of the local troops over the years.

The other is entitled “Spotlight on Bitton and Oldland”, with pictures covering the development of the area through the twentieth century. Alan Bryant, Joint Museum Curator, said: “We welcome contributions from local people to add to our knowledge of the Bitton area. Anyone with a story to tell, or artefacts for display, is encouraged to contact us at kingswoodmuseum@gmail.com.”

One of the events covered is the 1966 fire at the Oldland furniture factory, shown in the photograph.

The Museum will open on 2 April, and then on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 28 November from 2.00pm until 5.00pm, and on Bank Holidays between 11.00am and 5.00pm.

LiveWest add a touch of nature to Pucklechurch school

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Photograph kindly supplied by Roger Newport.

Leading housing provider LiveWest is working closely with Warmley-based Men in Sheds to provide Pucklechurch Primary School’s ‘reflective garden’ with a large bug hotel, bird feeder table and bird box.

The garden facelift has been funded by LiveWest and members from the Men in Sheds group have been busy building the wooden nature structures.

LiveWest has been working with the local Pucklechurch community in the lead up to the first stage of a new development of eight flats and 12 houses for affordable rent, called Cable Close which is set to be completed before Easter.

The entire scheme will deliver 58 affordable homes by the end of 2019, with 27 allocated for shared ownership and 31 for affordable rent.

Men in Sheds operate from the local Kingswood Heritage Museum and provide the opportunity for men (and women) to work in wood and other materials on their own projects, using the workshop and tools belonging to the museum. Members can also create and repair mechanical items in the workshop.

LiveWest have been working with Men in Sheds groups in South Gloucestershire for the past two years linking them up with various community groups to learn woodworking skills. A lot of the work has been around tackling social isolation within older people.

Marie Burke, Community Connector at LiveWest, said: “We are delighted to be working with Men in Sheds again to enhance facilities for the local schoolchildren, residents from our new homes development may end up attending the school.

“At LiveWest we know it’s really important we establish strong community connections where we develop our homes to really become part of the community. The whole project is aimed at bringing people together.”

LiveWest are pleased to be contributing to the area’s history by enhancing the neighbouring grade II listed World War II balloon tethering as part of the development. The new houses and flats will mean more local people can remain in the village instead of being forced to look for cheaper accommodation elsewhere.

Mervyn Bishop, who runs the Warmley Men in Sheds group, said: “What we seek to do is to provide a safe and friendly atmosphere where people can work – on their own or with others – on projects of their own choosing and at their own pace.

“We are so pleased to provide something for the local school which will help encourage wildlife in their garden, I couldn’t resist making a squirrel house for them as well!”

Community Groups flourish at Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum is preparing its new exhibits for the 2019 season, starting in April.

But in the meantime the community groups it hosts continue to flourish – and they are always looking for new members.

The groups are:

  • Ladies DIY Club: on Mondays it is the women's turn in the Museum workshop, where the machines can be used by members for their own projects, or to contribute to joint work.
  • Tools for Self Reliance: the workshop is used on Tuesdays by volunteers who refurbish tools and sewing machines to be sent to Africa to help local workers earn their living. They meet between 9.30 and 4.00.
  • Men in Sheds: every Thursday from 9.30 until 4.30, members come to carry out their own projects or take part in any group work of their choice.
  • the Knitters and Natters Group (pictured): these get-togethers take place on Mondays, from 10.00 until noon, when members bring their own knitting, crochet or needlework.

Anyone interested in joining any of the Groups should get in touch with the Museum.

Douglas bikes roar again!

Kingswood Heritage Museum

A regular feature of the Spring (end of May) Bank Holiday is the Douglas Motorbike Rally and Cavalcade, attracting Douglas motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country.

The Rally commences at 11.00 am, and the Cavalcade – including a run along one of the former bike testing circuits via the Chew Valley - begins at noon.

Everyone is welcome to come along, see dozens of vintage motorcycles, talk to their riders/owners and watch as they move off on the Sunday to ride the old factory test route.

One of the best known Douglas riders comes along with his 1929 bike – although it's been much modified to make it faster.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Now in his eighties, Henry Body has been competing in bike races for many decades, especially on veteran bikes. And - to prove there's nothing new under the sun – Henry exhibits the experimental electric Douglas from 1979!

The world famous Douglas bikes were built in Kingswood from 1907 to 1957. Some 25,000 were constructed for military use in the First World War.

Kingswood Heritage Museum has a major exhibition featuring the marque, including one of the machines designed for war time despatch riders. The bikes were regular winners of the Isle of Man TT races.

The Douglas Company saw the potential in the Italian scooter after World War II, and started making Vespas under licence in 1951. A sidecar was introduced in 1952.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

By the time production ceased in 1962 126,230 had been built. The 125cc model was marketed at just under £150, including purchase tax.

Bill Douglas, great grandson of the founders of the firm, said: “It is always a stirring sight to see the bikes in action, and we expect a big turnout around the area to watch the cavalcade”.

The line up opens at 11am, and the run - along one of the former bike testing circuits via the Chew Valley - begins at noon.

An Eighteenth Century Theme Park

A major historical feature in the care of Kingwood Heritage Museum is only open to the public at large for a few days each year, so do not miss the chance to visit.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Shaun Gibbs, one of the Museum's experts on the attraction, calls it "an eighteenth century theme park".

Shaun adds: "When William Champion's zinc making business in Warmley became successful in the late eighteenth century, he built himself an elegant and imposing new house at the heart of his works. The surrounding gardens he added were particularly impressive, laid out in the then popular Dutch style.

"A focal point was the large lake which was not only ornamental but also provided the water supply for the works. In the centre of the lake was a ten metre high stature of the god Neptune with his trident. This is still there, and is believed to be the largest garden statue now standing in the country.

"An essential feature of any large garden of that era was a grotto, and Champion's is thought to be the most extensive man-made grotto surviving. It was probably based on the example at Goldney House, in Clifton, Bristol, built by Champion's uncle, but - uniquely - was comprised mainly of the same black clinker waste from the factory that adorns Neptune."

See the events calendar for upcoming dates.

About the Centre

Kingswood Heritage Museum is based in the Brassworks built by William Champion, an 18th Century Quaker industrialist, with Warmley Historic Gardens alongside.

Come inside to...

Kingswood Heritage Museum

  • Step inside the Windmill Tower
  • Scramble through the mock-up of a mine
  • Discover why methodism began in Kingswood
  • Find out about the Victorian Age
  • See life through World War II
  • Remember the 50s
  • Learn about the local boot and shoe-making industry
  • Read about local Heroes and Villains
  • Visit Kingswood's own Douglas Motorcycle display

Become a Friend

Kingswood Heritage Museum welcomes friends and volunteers to support a wide range of activities.

Friends get free admission to all events and receive a newsletter with event details.

Meetings are held at the Museum on the second Thursday of February, April, June, August, October and December at 7.30pm to plan fundraising and work co-ordination.

If you would like to help with displays or events, or would like to join the Friends Scheme, please get in touch.

Accreditation for Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum has taken its first step toward joining the big league of museums, by obtaining accreditation from the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Accreditation means that we are classed as a properly run museum, with all the systems and procedures in place to conserve and maintain the artefacts in our custody.

It also means that we can seek appropriate artefacts on loan from other accredited museums and are eligible to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund grants.

This accolade has been gained only as the result of the work over the last two years of many Friends of the Museum and volunteers.

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