Henfield Museum is now open with CV-19 mitigation measures in place with our new exhibition 'The Thames Mudlark'. Please - wear a mask, use the hand sanitiser provided, follow the route and leave your contact details.
Read on below, or explore our site via the menu above.
Object in Focus
Our 1849 Change 8 Bell Set, made as a novelty by carpenter Robert 'Bob' Ward of the Cat House. Two years' evening working in the making, it replicates the sound of church bells. Featured in the 'Heritage of Horsham District in 100 Objects' & registered in the virtual collection of the Royal College of Music. Click here to listen
Our collections are full of items of interest and tales aplenty, all with a local connection to the picturesque Sussex village of Henfield...
The collection ranges from prehistoric flint artefacts telling of the earliest human activity in the area to objects from the 20th century. It includes a noted costume collection, the Marjorie Baker and other photographic archives, a wide ranging art collection and oral history collection. Find a medley of vintage farm implements sitting alongside a one of a kind early Victorian novelty change bell set, with items from Henfield's famous lavender nurseries brightening their corner... But we are not only a cabinet of curiosities - each item tells a story of its one time owner, while some have left their mark in other ways. Some of their tales are related in Henfieldians Past and in our blogs.
Our documentary archives include copies of the Henfield, Shermanbury and Woodmancote census records, churchyard memorial inscriptions and the Shermanbury archives. All of these can be viewed without prior appointment. We also have a collection of local historic maps, all of which can be viewed on request.
Temporary, themed exhibitions are staged three or four times a year, both within and outside the museum via the roving display case. For details of current and forthcoming exhibitions, see the 'Exhibitions' page. Details are also posted on the Museum noticeboard in the High Street bus shelter, in the Library and on the museum's Facebook page.
Heritage projects are run by the museum and Friends, with current projects including Arborea, A Favourite Object and the William Borrer Transcription Project.
Owned and run by Henfield Parish Council, the museum is supported by volunteers and the Friends of Henfield Museum. The collection began in a small way in the 1930s, moving from a few cases in the old Assembly Rooms to its first permanent site in the new village hall in 1974. The present building was opened in 1994.
Read more about the history of the museum.
Dive straight in...
Would you like to get involved?
Become a Volunteer
Do you have time to volunteer in the museum for a two hour opening timeslot or would you like to get involved in another way? Please contact the Curator if you can dedicate some time.
Join a Local Heritage Organisation
The Friends of Henfield Museum
Established in 2014 to directly support the museum and advance heritage projects and engagement with history in the local area. Membership £10 p/a.
The Henfield History Group
Offering a regular schedule of talks on varied local and broader topics throughout the year with a wide selection of guest speakers. Entry to talks can also be purchased on the door. Membership £10 p/a.
The Horsham District Heritage Forum provides a venue for collaboration and signposts the activities of other museums and historical societies in the area.
Henfield Then And Now is well known Henfieldian Mike Ainscough's long running website featuring numerous past and present views of Henfield, sourced from his own large photo collection, the museum archives and numerous other places.
Hidden Henfield is run by the community partnership and provides a flavour of the village and a view of some of the highlights for a visit! Includes information on shopping and cafés as well as route maps for Henfield's local heritage trails - perfect for enjoying the history and countryside the parish is so lucky to have.
Henfield Parish Council have primary responsibility for funding and running Henfield Museum - find news on local services and activities and in depth museum committee documents here.