Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery


Discover Basingstoke and Deane's past from the rich archaeological heritage beneath our feet right up to the modern day. As you tour the museum, you’ll find out about Iron Age and Roman burials, will meet Pickaxe, a 19th century scavenger scraping a living from the streets, and revisit the days of twin-tubs and teddy-boys in the 1960s sitting room. 

On the ground floor is The Sainsbury Gallery, which hosts a rolling programme of exhibitions from nationally important galleries and museums, as well as some of the finest artists in the region. The Basingstoke gallery on the first floor showcases the work of local artists, groups and societies. This gallery has been restored to reveal many original features, creating a top quality space for community exhibitions. We also run fun events and activities for all the family throughout the year.

The Local History Resources section includes local reference books and archives, including an extensive collection of maps, plans, letters and more. The photographic collection includes postcards, albums and slides from the 1850s to the present day, and copies can be made on request. The museum also has a growing collection of oral history recordings, produced in partnership with the Basingstoke Talking History Group.

Drop into Café Willis, a welcoming space complete with marble fireplace, crystal chandelier and hand printed wallpaper. The café serves a range of Mozzo coffees, speciality teas, locally made cakes and pastries, including gluten free and Hampshire Fare products. Our gift shop is the perfect place to find a special gift for a friend - or a treat for yourself!

Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Café Willis closes half an hour before closing time.


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