This unique museum of local history portrays the life of a market town over the last ten centuries. It tells the story of the original settlement of Beaudesert and its one-time Norman castle and traces the joint development of Henley-in-Arden and Beaudesert up to the present day. Displays in the seven exhibit rooms cover all aspects of social, business and domestic life, including life in wartime, complete with a replica of the famous Anderson bomb shelter. The offices of the Lords of the Manor and the ancient courts, which still survive, are described and the museum holds the original charter granted by Henry VI in 1449. Local figures of interest, including William James, sponsor of locomotive engineer George Stephenson, are commemorated. An observation quiz provides interest from young people. The house itself is an architectural gem, its oldest parts dating from 1345. There is disabled access to all ground floor rooms, which include the reading room with its extensive document, audio and video archives and a ""virtual tour"" of the upstairs rooms. Guided tours for groups, by prior arrangement.
- Joseph Hardy House, 150 High Street
- B95 5BS
- +44 01564 795919
Travel by road
Take the A3400 Birmingham Road from Stratford to Henley-in-Arden. Or from the M40 get off at junction 16 and follow the A3400 towards Henley. The Heritage Centre is in the centre of the town on the High Street.
Nearest station: Henley-in-Arden