Royal Museum, Canterbury
This is a combined museum and art gallery on the upper floor of a rather magnificent building which serves on the ground floor as the City Library. The majority of the exhibits are paintings and ceramics. there is a particularly fine collection of paintings by T.S. Cooper, said to be the finest ever painter of cattle, of all things. OK if you like paintings of cattle, but it wasn't really my thing. some of the old portraits of local worthies are pleasant, though. On the art gallery side, when I visited there was an exhibition by Kurt Jackson, billed as Cornwall's best known living artist. Again, not really to my taste but apparently all the exhibits are for sale ranging from £1500 to £50000, if you have that kind of money!
The Buffs Museum is in the same building (see seperate tip).
Admission is free, open 1000 - 1700 Monday to Saturday. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access.
Update August 2013.
Whilst updating some of my other tips recently, I noticed that this tip had become seriously out of date. I have now amended the details (website etc.) I should stress that this tip was written in 2005, shortly after I joined VT and stands as is. I hope I have included all the relevant current information now but travel writing is, inherently, out of date as soon as you submit it.
Here are the current details, or at least where to find them. Aparently the government has abnegated it's responsibilities and the website is now a website finishing in .co.uk indicating commercial interest. You can check the attached, up to date, website for details of opening times, prices etc.
The Royal museum is housed in a superb Victorian building. It contains decorative arts; Jewelry and accessories; haberdashery and sewing; porcelain; Victorian Cabinet of Curiosities and picture collections - including a gallery for T.S. Cooper. The art gallery is the major space in the area for the visual arts.
The annual program is wide ranging, with exhibitions of both contemporary and historical work. In addition to the Royal Museum the building also houses the Buffs Museum - a branch of the National Army Museum which tells the story of one of England's oldest infantry regiments and its worldwide service. There is an extensive collection of medals with Victoria Crosses and other gallantry awards
The Royal Museum and Art Gallery also houses a public library and the Buffs Regimental Museum. The art exhibitions are the greatest feature of this multi purpose facility. This exhibition of satirical art, which puts politicians and other members of the priveleged elite, in the situation they deserve to be in. There is a fine military museum of the Buffs regiment for those interested in such things. And the best feature of all is that admission is totally free.
The museum and gallery is housed in the architectural masterpiece shown in the photo. I believe that every style of English architecture from 1400 to 1900 was incorporated in the exterior design. The construction is half timbered with an English flare. Renaissance elements are pronounced, but the crowning glory was added during the Victorian era. The intricate designs and the colored glass added to the stucco definately make the exterior overdone, but hay, such was Victorian England.
This i think is one of the most beautiful victorian buildings to be seen in Canterbury.It wasd owned by a man called Beaney who became a ships surgeon and then later a succesfull prospector in the Melbourne gold rush of 1857. When he died he left a vast amount of money to Canterbury and his building for the funding of the education of the labourers. To be later known as the Beaney institute
All located within the one building on the main high street in Canterbury.
Its a beautiful building from the outside and has a really pretty stained glass window on the inside.