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Museums and Galleries Fashion History

Museums and Galleries 
Fashion History

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Always Check Directly with Museums for Updated Information

Always telephone first to check if the museum is still showing examples of dress or accessories or textiles. Galleries are updated sometimes to improve conservation conditions. Also check days and times of opening. Some museums close when you least expect it such as on a Friday.  Many venues have internet sites with information on opening hours and fees. 

Some venues charge an entrance fee, but some publicly owned venues in the UK now have free entrance once again. 

For Early English Costume History See Calthrop

A Note on Footwear

If you wear heels I suggest you take a pair of low flatter shoes or check beforehand that the venue will let you in if they are preserving original wooden floors. All National Trust properties like the base of a shoe heel to be at least about 3 cm square. I was once refused entry because of wearing a heel deemed too damaging, luckily I had a spare pair of flat sandals in the car and soon caught up with my group.

Some of these museums have direct web links and others are reviewed better on a secondary site. If you do find any broken links or changes of information please write to me at the email address in the footer.

A few arts venues in this list are not costume museums, but they may contain paintings or research facilities showing an era's important clothing and decorative objects to be studied alongside costume.

These museums are all linked to information pages individually.

Clicking the excellent links will give you greater guidance on the contents of each museum.

Museum of Costume Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, 

Bath. Great Britain.


01225 477789

Fashion Research Centre, 4 Circus Bath, BA1 2EW

01225 477752

The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

Castle Close, 

Bedford. Great Britain.

MK 40 3RP 

01234 211222

Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, 

Stranmills Road, Belfast. Great Britain.


01232 383000

Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, 

Birmingham. Great Britain.

B3 3DH   

Birmingham link to the Jewellery Quarter

0121 303 2834

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, 

Church Street, Brighton, 

East Sussex. Great Britain.

BN1 1UE   

01273 290900

Manor House Museum,

Honey Hill,Bury St Edmunds

Suffolk England IP33 1RT 

01284 757 076

Museum of Welsh Life, 

St. Fagans, 


South Wales. Great Britain.

CF5 6XB          

012920 573500

Grosvenor Museum, 

27 Grosvenor Street, 


Cheshire. Great Britain.


01244 321616

The Bowes Museum,

Barnard Castle,

Durham. Great Britain.

DL12 8NP 

01833 690606

National Museums of Scotland

0131 225 7534

Kelvingrove Art Gallery ad Museum,

Glasgow. Great Britain.

G3 8AG 

0141 287 2700

State Apartments and Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, Kensington Palace, London. W8 4PX.  Great Britain.

0171 938 8500

Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road,

London. Great Britain.


0171 938 8500

Macclesfield Silk Museum and Heritage Centre, Roe Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6UT

01625 613210

Gallery of Costume,

Platt Hall, Rusholme,

Manchester. Great Britain.

M14 5LL

(Manchester City Galleries)


0161 245 7245

Costume and Textile Study Centre,

Carrow House,

301 King Street,

Norwich. Great Britain.


01603 223 870

Paisley Museum and Art Gallery,

High Street,


PA1 2BA. Great Britain.

0141 889 3151

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, formerly known as Rowley House,

Barker street,


SY1 1QH. Great Britain.

01743 361 196

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire, SK9 4LA

01625 527468

York Castle Museum,


YO1 9RY. Great Britain.

01904 653 611

Warwick Castle,

Warwick. Great Britain.

01926 406633

National Museum of Ireland,

Kildare Street,

Dublin 2.

353 1 677 7444


A website visitor recently wrote to tell me of this museum. "Snibston Museum in Coalville Leicestershire is home to the Symington collection of corsets. It also has fashions from c1750 to present day and archives Next fashion as they are based in Leicestershire."

I have not visited this museum so please check directly with the institution as this display may be date limited. Address:- Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3LN. There is an excellent YouTube video highlighting the corsetry displays.


By its very nature all of this information is constantly changing.

If you find any broken links or changes of information please write to me at the address below.

Although not a costume museum, no visit to Bath, UK is complete without a visit to the Pump Room in the centre of Bath town.

Another related museum which may also be of interest is that of the Jewellery Quarter Museum in Birmingham UK.

-------v6------- can take no responsibility for any loss you may incur as a result of using the information here.

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About looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.  This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.

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