Royston & District Museum and Art Gallery

Address: 5 Lower King Street, Royston, Herts, SG8 5AL
Telephone: 01763 242587 - Web-site
Museum Curator: Mrs Jenny Oxley Email:
Museum Assistant: Mrs Amy Judd 
Cleaner/Volunteer: Mrs Y Stallard

Opening Hours

All year: Wed, Thurs & Sat, 10 am - 4.45 pm. (Closed over Christmas and New Year) Other times by arrangement with the Curator.

Admission is Free

A Brief History of the Museum

A Museum was first established in Royston in 1856, when it was housed in the Institute Building, but in 1901 a decision was taken to close it and the collection was unfortunately sent for auction and dispersed. Many of the finest items were bought by collectors, though some were later returned for the current collection through the generosity of individual purchasers.

In the 1960s and 70s a group from the local history society worked on bringing a collection about Royston and the area back together. A room in the town hall was acquired to show these objects and arouse people’s interest in the town.

In 1984 the museum moved into its current building, the old Congregational Church Schoolroom. The building had been empty for some time but during the Second World War it was used as a social club for the members of the American Air Force 91st Bomb Group which was based at Bassingbourn. The Americans installed shower facilities and a kitchen which were later removed at the request of the authorities when the war was over.

Since 1984 the collection has been continually added to. The museum achieved it Accreditation status in 2012 and this highlights the standards of professional practice that the museum strives to maintain and improve on.

Today, the museum hosts events and workshops throughout the year to bring new visitors in who then spend much time looking around at the amazing collection.


The museum collection is rich and diverse.  On a visit to the museum you will explore the history of the area from the Ice Age through to the 1950s.  You will see everything from Stone Age axe heads to Victorian farming equipment and from Second World War helmets to a Rubik’s cube.

A Museum for Everyone

The Museum aims to cater for all ages.  We run a fortnightly Toddler music and Dance workshops and for kids aged roughly 4-10years we run regular craft workshops particularly during the school holidays and on selected Saturday mornings.  For older kids, the Youth Members is a great opportunity to get hands on with the collection as the group plan their own exhibitions and events.

We run regular craft workshops for adults ranging from willow weaving to rag rugging. We also offer the chance to use our 1855 Colombian Printing Press, which was once used to print the local newspaper, the Royston Crow.  For adults, we also hold a monthly reminiscence group where visitors meet to chat about the history of the town. 

Our wonderful upstairs art gallery showcases local artists.  With a varied programmed of art exhibitions throughout the year it is a great reason to keep coming back to see the talent on display.


We welcome visitors with pushchairs.  Wheelchair access to the ground floor is via a side entrance.  Please press the bell on the outside wall to let us know you need assistance.  Link to Access Statement

 For more information about the museum, visit

The Royston Tapestry

Prehistoric sea creatures, Romans, Black Death, a mysterious cave – all these and more can be found on the Royston Tapestry. In 1993, the tapestry was started as a way to record Royston’s history and to give local embroiders a place to showcase their skills. Fourteen scenes have so far been stitched onto one continuous piece of linen. Each scene depicts a significant point in Royston’s history illustrating the town’s rich and diverse past.

You can currently see the fifteenth and final scene being worked on at the museum. Our team of embroiders come in each week to add more stitches. Completing a section, just a few centimetres square, can take several hours due to the detail of the design and the skill required.

 Once finished the tapestry will be over 25 metres long and will cover a period reaching back 64 million years.