The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is an Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury. This award winning facility provides state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, excellent educational facilities and a varied programme of events for all ages. The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who studied medicine before emigrating to Australia, where he found his success. Upon his death in 1891, Dr Beaney left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge. A cultural hub in East Kent, praised for its welcoming atmosphere, providing a range of services under one roof, uniting art, heritage, books, ideas, information and collections. Whether you are a frequent Library user, a teacher on a Schools Workshop, a parent enjoying the perfect cup of coffee in our Cafe or an inquisitive explorer studying our treasures from the Ancient worlds; The Beaney is a building for everyone.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Trang69
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you have a spare hour or two when you are in the city, pop in and see for yourself
    We visited the museum yesterday on our way back from a concert in Margate. We wanted to see the Firmin/Postgate (Smallfilms) exhibition on the 1st Floor. To be honest, the whole museum was really interesting. There were art displays on the Ground Floor, including a display by a local artist which my wife and I really enjoyed. The artist was there and we spoke to him before we looked at his collection. In the opposite room there was another art display, again, very interesting. We then went up onto the 1st floor to see the exhibition rooms and the Small films display. There was a fascinating mixture of pictures, clothes and artifacts, some from local collections, and some that had links to people in the area. All well displayed and plenty to explore. Then we went to see what we went to the museum for. There is whole room dedicated to the work of Peter Firmin, Oliver Postgate and their families and friends. Anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s will immediately reccognise such characters as The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and our personal favourite, Bagpuss. This exhibition is a must see for anyone who loved these programs as a child. There are the original props, characters, memorabilia and some really rare and personal items from the Firmin/Postgate collection. We both found the whole experience delightful...and we got to see the "Actual" Bagpuss! The staff were great too and were very friendly and informative. If you have a spare hour or two when you are in the city, pop in and see for yourself
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written September 18, 2023
  • Richard M
    Greater London, United Kingdom4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great hotel close to town with parking at £13 per night
    Staying at the Falstaff Hotel was a joy with good a disabled access room and in easy walking distance of the main town and many important sights such as the Cathedral. Unfortunately because my wife has problems with stairs our visit to both the Cathedral and the Roman Museum were spoilt because the lifts didn't work. There are many coffee shops and restaurants in the town and many pleasant walks of interest including along the river. Also coming from West London driving was a nightmare - take the train. Parking in town is in short supply and expensive.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written January 27, 2024
  • Laura C
    Christchurch, United Kingdom37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant couple of hours with children
    A brilliant couple of hours with 2 small children. We did the Bagpuss trail which was perfect for our 7 year old and well worth the £5 free (especially since the museum itself is completely free). For younger ones, there was an activity in every room to keep them occupied; a dollhouse, wooden blocks, drawing, kaleidoscopes and dressing up. My 3 year old was well entertained whilst we read the exhibit information. An excellent couple of hours.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written April 2, 2024
  • liucy752
    Taipei, Taiwan1,545 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A stunning building
    I was attracted to the architecture of the house. Dating back to 1899, it is a stunning Tudor Revival building with half-timbering and Gothic Revival window decorations. The interior and floors are also exquisite and beautiful. It is currently a library and museum, displaying its collection of paintings, ceramics, jewelry and antiques.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written April 20, 2024
  • Jo Kelleway
    Suffolk, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Truly worth a visit
    What a brilliant place! I loved the Smallfilms Gallery with its detailed exhibition on the work of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. The other exhibits were really interesting and covered a wide range, so although we were only there about 2 hours, we really felt it was one of the best attractions in the town.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 27, 2024
  • Joss C
    Ipswich, United Kingdom269 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Thank you for the nostalgia!
    Part of this museum’s exhibits were a walk through my childhood. Really thoughtfully laid out. The museum has lovely paintings and great exhibitions. There appeared to be plenty to entertain younger visitors too. A great free venue. The staff were friendly and helpful. We were lucky to witness a cheeky student get her violin out and play, she was taking advantage of the acoustics within the room.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written June 8, 2024
  • Suzanne S
    Spilsby, United Kingdom50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A real gem of a place and its free
    A truly wonderful place. I went to look at the Bagpuss Exhibition and discovered much more. Staff were friendly and there were signs all over encouraging the taking of photos. I arrived just before 4pm and it was quite busy but not packed. The galleries had something for everyone including bits for children such as dressing up and a few toys. No cafe but plenty of reasonable places surrounding it.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written June 30, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles746 reviews
Excellent
393
Very good
265
Average
64
Poor
18
Terrible
7

4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Baby ryhme time with Steve
I liked the songs and the puppets that Steve used. It was a relaxed atmosphere. Two things to improve the experience for me would be: Steve started singing in a key that was either too low or too high for the female care givers' vocal range.
Also the tempo was so fast, I barely had to time catch my breath before the next line of the nursery ryhme. Please go a bit slower! His energy was great though.
Written July 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suzanne S
Spilsby, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Solo
A truly wonderful place. I went to look at the Bagpuss Exhibition and discovered much more.
Staff were friendly and there were signs all over encouraging the taking of photos.
I arrived just before 4pm and it was quite busy but not packed.
The galleries had something for everyone including bits for children such as dressing up and a few toys.
No cafe but plenty of reasonable places surrounding it.
Written July 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cartiger
Swansea
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Drove across country to see the smallfilms exhibit which was excellent. Visit overshadowed by the appalling lack of hygiene in the unisex toilets which was so bad it must be breaking legal regulations for a public building. Situation was the same in upstairs and downstairs toilets. Thete are signs to donate so the museum can continue to be free but I strongly suggest if they can't afford a cleaning service to get charging. Overshadowed the great exhibition. Didn't expect to be confronted with filth.
Written June 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joss C
Ipswich, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Part of this museum’s exhibits were a walk through my childhood. Really thoughtfully laid out. The museum has lovely paintings and great exhibitions. There appeared to be plenty to entertain younger visitors too.
A great free venue. The staff were friendly and helpful. We were lucky to witness a cheeky student get her violin out and play, she was taking advantage of the acoustics within the room.
Written June 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo Kelleway
Suffolk, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
What a brilliant place! I loved the Smallfilms Gallery with its detailed exhibition on the work of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. The other exhibits were really interesting and covered a wide range, so although we were only there about 2 hours, we really felt it was one of the best attractions in the town.
Written May 27, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken G
Chelmsford, UK
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
It was very good we just had a brief look around actually while going to tourist information. We didn’t look at everything as we had a number of other things to see.
Written April 24, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

R. K. V.
Bogota, Colombia
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
interesting place to pop into and learn a bit- loads of good information and some fun exhibits. free makes it even easier!
Written April 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

liucy752
Taipei, Taiwan
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
I was attracted to the architecture of the house.

Dating back to 1899, it is a stunning Tudor Revival building with half-timbering and Gothic Revival window decorations. The interior and floors are also exquisite and beautiful.

It is currently a library and museum, displaying its collection of paintings, ceramics, jewelry and antiques.
Written April 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura C
Christchurch, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
A brilliant couple of hours with 2 small children. We did the Bagpuss trail which was perfect for our 7 year old and well worth the £5 free (especially since the museum itself is completely free). For younger ones, there was an activity in every room to keep them occupied; a dollhouse, wooden blocks, drawing, kaleidoscopes and dressing up. My 3 year old was well entertained whilst we read the exhibit information. An excellent couple of hours.
Written April 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Am absolutely beautiful building housing some great paintings, artefacts and super interactive activities for children
Written February 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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