Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Abingdon County Hall Museum and Buns in the Basement, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Abingdon County Hall Museum opened a few weeks back after an extensive refit, the museum is a stunning building, located right in the centre opposite the market place and a short walk from the river and car parks.
Access to the musuem has always been difficult, and still is. The only accessible area is the basement, I will get to this later. If taking young children you will either have to leave the pushchair at the bottom of the stairs or get some strong muscles and carry it up.

Charlotte does museums at lightning speed and we managed both rooms in about 20 minutes. A few things stopped her in her tracks to look at. Photos of the recent bun throwing and some of the old buns that had been perserved on display, the MGB car which was one of the last one off the line at the Abingdon factory (you can watch the video of how it got into the museum here, a dressing up box, drawers to open and peer in, a dolls house. On good days you can also go onto the roof for fantastic views across the town, we didn't go up as children have to be over 6 (there is also a small charge) but I believe the roof has been relaid as the boarding up there used to get very slippery and wasn't open very often.

The displays all look wonderful and very informative, we got a sneak look at how Oxfordshire Museum Services were creating the displays and what their brief was when we went round the Museum Resource Centre in Standlake a few months back. The time, effort and dedication was all worth while as it looks fantastic. On a separate note if you have older children or those with longer attention spans the Museum Resource Centre has another open day on 14th October 2012, its really worth a visit to see things you would rarely see on display.

There is a brand new lift at the back of the museum that will take you down to the basement. Here you will find the education room, the old water pump that served the town and Buns in the Basement, run by the lovely Phil and Kate from throwing buns. This a must do last stop on your trip round the museum for a coffee and cake or salad, jacket potato or quiche.

The museum and buns in the basement is open Tuesday - Sunday and bank holiday Mondays 10am - 4pm.

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