Worthing Museum & Art Gallery is positioned within the heart of the borough town of Worthing in West Sussex. Worthing Museum & Art Gallery holds one of the most significant costume collections in the UK, as well as notable collections in fine and decorative arts, social history, toys and dolls and archeology. There are around 30,000 items within the costume collection alone. Best of all, its free!
There are some brilliant explanations of the geology, archeology and past history of the whole area – with some amazing exhibits and finds. Roman and Neolithic periods, Saxon and the many raiding parties and tribes who have been in the area are noted. Coins, tools, flint chippings and deer antler axes etc all feature.
The real strength of the collections can be seen in the internationally important artefacts from the Neolithic flint mines at Blackpatch, Cissbury Ring, Church Hill; Harrow Hill, alongside a large number of Bronze Age metal hoards. Further to this the museum contains unique finds from Roman religious sites such as Chanctonbury Ring, as well as funerary remains from the local area. The 5th century Patching Hoard of gold and silver coins is unique in Britain and crowns the extensive assemblage of Roman coin hoards from across West Sussex. Finally the museum contains a large number of human remains, jewellery, weaponry and glass-ware from the nationally significant early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Highdown Hill.
The costumes and textiles are stunning and cover the 17th Century up to modern times. The Collection was begun when the Museum opened in 1908. Acquisition gathered pace in the 1950s and 1960s and since then, they have worked to maintain its status by continuing to add items that broaden its range and increase its depth. Eighteenth and nineteenth century clothes are a particular strength, but the Collection reaches back to the seventeenth century and forward to the present day. The oldest item of clothing is a Jacobean man’s jacket dated around 1610.
There is a whole section on the social history of the area and it even includes dolls houses.
It is in Chapel Road (BN11 1HP) and opens 10-5pm Mon to Saturday.
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