On the 18th May, it’s International Museums Day, which has been running for around 45 years and aims to raise awareness that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples”. In Hertfordshire we’ve been blessed with a number of them which explore both our local and international history, and tie in with the learning of both our past and future.
A name that is synonymous with the aviation industry, from wartime to today, the de Havilland Aircraft Museum celebrates the company’s roots in Hertfordshire and how it shaped aircraft that are key to both civilian and wartime life. On a visit to the museum you will be able to tour around jet aircraft from WW2 to modern day civilian, with special experiences for those wanting a guide around aircraft cockpits and more.
Get ready to open your mind with a trip to Watford Museum, as the town has a rich history from industry to football. Sitting in a former brewery building, the museum has over 30,000 items for visitors to take in with rafts of paintings visualising the history of the area, to a celebration of the local Watford Football Club with items from the 1890s. Also on display are sculptures and still life portraits – there really is something for everyone.
Flour is the basis of many of our foods and has been for hundreds of years, so understanding where this particular piece of our food comes from is incredibly important. The 18th Century Mill Green Museum is a restored and working watermill in Hatfield, which gives a rich history of how the mill works. If you want to take a little piece of the museum home with you, purchase some organic, stoneground wholemeal flour fresh from the mill, or even better savour some sweet treats and light lunch made with metres from the mill at The Miller's Kitchen.
With the Romans' conquest of the UK bringing one of the fastest accelerations of technology, we are bound to have remnants of their work, and Hertfordshire is no exception. Right across our county we have remains and plenty of artefacts. Take a trip to the Roman Baths in Welwyn which is open every Saturday 10am - 4pm and weekday afternoons in Hertfordshire school holidays, 1-4pm. You’ll be able to take yourself back to and enjoy a 3rd century ancient Roman Bath House with plenty of preserved remains and hands on activities for kids. If you’re in St Albans head to the Verulamium Museum which is on the site of one of our country’s largest Roman cities. On offer are plenty of mosaics and artefacts of daily Roman life with the Roman city wall just a short wander away.
If you’re in St Albans but want to find out more than just Roman history, head to the St Albans Museum + Gallery which showcases the rich history of the city and its locale but also national and world heritage. No visit to this space is ever the same as it promises a rich programme of events from art exhibitions to stories of the local community – be sure to visit their What’s On page to explore before you head over!
Synonymous with understanding the world of Mother Nature, the Natural History Museum has a branch in Tring which makes for a perfect informative day out. Based on the collection of Lionel Walter Rothschild, there are three floors and various galleries with unique collections, and an ever changing exhibition programme, so get ready to get up close to the likes of cassowaries and elands.