Exhibitions & Events

Hidden treasures – Hidden histories

Our most recent exhibition featured found items discovered by local metal detectorists in fields close to Charlbury and other pieces were discovered in houses and gardens in Charlbury.

Next year the museum plans to have a special display shelf devoted to finds. Neil Pakenham-Walsh has generously donated many of his pieces dug up in fields close to Charlbury, a recent collection can be seen in the photograph of buckles and a thimble below.

A ‘beehive’ type thimble, 15th – 16th century; buckle (left) dated to around 1500 – 1650  and buckle ( right) 1570 -1700. All three were dug up in the same field along with a number of other miniscule pieces such as trade tokens and coins. Lost bygones with historic tales to tell.  Donated to museum by Neil Pakenham-Walsh and the landowner

Left: Henry 111 short cross silver penny. Minted in Canterbury by Osmund the moneyer between 1236 -1242.                  Private loan for exhibition 2023

Right: Elizabeth 1 silver penny 1578 – 1582. The coin has been clipped i.e. the silver was taken illegally from the edge of the coin to be melted down. Donated to museum by Neil Pakenham-Walsh and the landowner

Permanent displays

Besides our special exhibition, we have displays about many other aspects of the town.  Agriculture has always been an important part of the local economy. We have tools and other farming equipment on display, and of course our splendid Oxfordshire wagon, resplendent in its traditional colours of red and yellow.   The town was well served by tradespeople, blacksmiths being in great demand as well as carpenters and wheelwrights and we have many examples of their tools.   Also on display are goods and artefacts from the wide variety of shops (such as Allens drapery) which later drew in customers from surrounding villages.

West Oxfordshire was a centre of the gloving trade and we explore the history of the gloving factories that sprang up and the many outworkers who were employed around the town, with examples of the glove patterns and machines they used.

A large collection of old photographs of the town portrays people and events, buildings and the social life of the town as well as recording disasters and celebrations.  Newspaper cuttings describe events and news from the town, and we can help with queries about local families drawing on the parish records and censuses.

Past Exhibitions & Events


Wagons, Wood and Wheat
A history of farms and farming in Charlbury
Family History Day June 2019
A display of local archives, and help with family history queries
Street Fair display September 2019
Display of photos of Charlbury in the 1950s & 60s alongside memories of past Street Fairs beginning in 1956


Poachers & Pilferers, Gamekeepers and Glovers
The story of Wychwood Forest, once one of the largest Royal Hunting Forests in the country
A Walk on the Wild Side
Special poetry event to link with the exhibitionThe Four Wordsmen (Ed Fenton, Adrian Lancini, John Lanyon,Rob Stepney) gave an outdoor reading of their poems inspired by the Wychwood Forest.


Bonnets & Bloomers, Braces & Boots
Allen’s Drapery Store, Church Street
Sewing Bee July 2017
A weekend of creative crafts for adults & children inspired by Victorian and Edwardian textiles in the Allens exhibition


Sport in Charlbury
A look at the many sports that have flourished here over the years

The work and life of Bessie Marchant, author, who lived for many years at Gothic House in Church Street


The story of the British School, founded 1815


First World War
marking 100 years since the outbreak of war


John Kibble (1865-1951)
Charlbury stonemason


Charlbury in the 1950s
Marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

2011     Town Hall, the Town Hall Cinema & Entertainments in Charlbury

2010     Scouts & Guides

2009     Post Office & Postal Services

2008     Allotments & Gardens

2007     Charlbury Utilities

2006     The Town Charter – 750 years ago

2004     Cameras and photography