Collections & Exhibitions

Exhibitions

Crime and Punishment – 180 years of Wiltshire Police

Saturday 3 August to Saturday 28 September

This exhibition explores crime and punishment from the Saxon period through to the present day. It marks 180 years of Wiltshire Police (the first and best!) and will include loans from their historic police collection, including early uniforms, handcuffs and shackles!

Free entry

Special Displays

Westinghouse – A Social History

This special summer display, looks at the wide variety of clubs, organisations and societies, set up by and for employees of this famous company.

Putting On A Show

Celebrating 40 years of CLOGS Musical Theatre, this display includes costume, props and memorabilia from several of their most famous productions including Oklahoma and the Merry Widow.

Collections

Chippenham Museum collects and cares for nearly 35,000 objects relating to Chippenham and its surrounding towns and villages.

These items range in date from the Neolithic period to the present day and cover geology, archaeology, and the artistic and social history of people in this area. Click on the images above to discover Highlights from the collection.

Significant parts of the collection include:

  • Local industries such as the cloth trade, dairy and cheese making, and Rail Automation including Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company, once the town’s largest employer.
  • Paintings and prints connected to the local area including a 16th century Coat of Arms of Queen Elizabeth I through to works by Robin Tanner and students and teachers at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. A selection of the museum’s paintings can be found on Art UK
  • Over 9000 photographs and postcards of local views and people dating from the 1860s to the present day. An important resource revealing how the area has changed.
  • Uniforms, robes and regalia relating to civic, military and public services. This includes items from the Historic Police Collection on loan to Chippenham Museum from Wiltshire Police.

Offers to the collection
The museum welcomes offers of objects relating to the local area for the collection. Resources are limited so we are unable to accept everything that is offered, especially large items. Our Collections Development Policy outlines the objects we do and do not collect, and lists the 26 parishes in our collecting area.

If you wish to make an offer, it is best to contact the museum before bringing the item in.

Collection enquiries
The majority of items from the collection can be viewed by appointment in our Research Room. To make an appointment please contact the museum.
The museum welcomes research enquiries about its collections; however it is unable to carry out in-depth research on an individual’s or organisation’s behalf. The museum is instead happy to assist and encourage researchers to use the collections and facilities available at the museum. Please contact the museum with your enquiry and a member of staff will be able to advise of items that may be of interest.

The museum is happy to look at objects for identification. It is best to contact the museum before bringing the item in. If we are unable to help we will advise who may be able to assist.

Please note that we are unable to give valuations.