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Origins of the Building
Contact Details
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The red brick building which houses the museum and gives it its name was erected in 1763 as the parish poorhouse, and later as its workhouse, until the number of inmates exceeded the space available and a new workhouse was built in Fairmile. The building housed Herbert Druitt's private museum from 1919 until 1952 when it became a public museum. It has been managed by Hampshire Museums Service since 1971 and the present curator is Jim Hunter.

Here the children of the town's poor were employed making fusee chains - the tiny links which where contained within the mechanisms of Victorian pocket watches. The fusee chains were also made in a factory, still standing in Bargates, which was owned by William Hart. Mr. Hart's son, Edward, learnt taxidermy from his father and opened a museum in the High Street for which hundreds of birds were shot. Many cases he prepared are now displayed at the museum.

Among the museum's other exhibits are the extensive collections of arts and antiquities of the antiquarian Herbert Druitt whose sister Charlotte bequethed the family home, Druitt House, in High Street to the town as its first public library and gardens.

There is the reconstruction of one of the Saxon burials uncovered during the building of the Saxon Centre which revealed a Saxon cemetry near the mill stream, as well as other information on life in Saxon Chrsitchurch .


Tuesday to Saturday - 10am - 5pm
Sunday - 2pm to 5pm
last admissions 4.30pm

'Small' admission charge
..... FREE to residents of Hampshire and Dorset County Councils and Christchurch Borough Council (this does not include Bournemouth, Poole, Portsmouth and Southampton Unitary Authorities .....

Season tickets and pre-booked group rates available

Contact Details;-
Quay Road, Christchurch, Dorset

tel: 01202 482860
fax: 01202 481924

curator: Jim Hunter

See also;-

..... Click here to view the Museum's own official website .... RED HOUSE MUSEUM
Hantsweb: The Hampshire County Council Web Site

Museums in and around Christchurch


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