Museum of Oxford
  • Oxford Town Hall
    St Aldate’s
    Oxford City Council
    OX1 1BX
The Museum of Oxford is a unique collection of historical artefacts, documents, textiles and artworks which together tell the story of the city of Oxford and its people.

Located  within the Oxford Town Hall building on St Aldates, the Museum of Oxford has been a constant source of fascination to tourists and townspeople alike since its opening in 1975. The Museum presents a diverse collection which includes exhibits right from ancient Roman pottery, medieval artefacts through to the Civil War and the siege of Oxford, right up to the blossoming of  industrial Oxford and its current scientific industries.  

The history of Oxford is a complex interaction between the growing University, war and politics, trade and industrialisation. It is a wonderful story of the city and the people who shaped it – from prehistoric times right up to the present day.

In 2012 the Museum was closed and replaced with the current Explore Oxford experience, which presents the city’s history through a number of unique spaces within the Town Hall. A reproduction of a Victorian offices accurately recreates the atmosphere of 1880’s Oxford. In a second space, visitors can experience a high speed virtual cycle tour of Oxford.  Numerous exhibits illustrate how the city and its people have been shaped by trade, academia, industry, invention and new technology.

In addition, a newly-opened space called ‘The Old Museum’ is available to host contemporary theatre, dance and film productions. Finally, The Gallery and Gallery Corridor are spaces within Oxford Town Hall, managed by the Culture team at Oxford City Council's Museum of Oxford.

The Museum Collection

Selected items from The Museum of Oxford’s extensive collection can be seen on permanent display in the Explore Oxford galleries. The diverse collection includes everything from Roman pottery to marmalade jars and is an exciting and unique range of archaeological and social history objects.

Some of the more interesting items in the collection include:-

  • St Frideswide's Grave Slab
  • Alice Liddel’s Red Cross Service Medal
  • Scott of the Antarctic’s marmelade tin
  • A medieval knuckle bone pavement
  • The Carfax Tower striking quarter boys
  • A painting of the siege of Oxford by Jan Wyke
  • Oliver Cromwell’s death mask

The Old Museum

The Old Museum is a new and exciting contemporary event space which aims  to raise money and awareness so the Museum of Oxford can be extended in the coming years. The Old Museum is  fully equipped with appropriate lighting and audio/visual equipment suitable for staging a whole range of modern theatre, dance and film events.

The Old Museum will showcase wider collections and provide even more excellent outreach activity for residents and visitors.

The Old Museum is a fully licensed premise and can be booked for a range of private and public events.

The Gallery

The Gallery is a self-contained exhibition space suitable for exhibitions, art displays and small trade fairs and can cater for either  wall-hanging work or free-standing 3-D work. In 2007 The Gallery received a certificate from The Oxford Preservation Trust and an outstanding and sensitive conversion of a Victorian space.

The Gallery Corridor is a public space is accessible whenever the Town Hall is open. It offers roughly 19 sqm of hanging space using a hanging rail and rod system with security hooks for 2-D work only. The Gallery Corridor is hired on a monthly basis and has a busy forward schedule of bookings.

Information packs on both gallery spaces are attached to this feature as PDF downloads.

Opening Times

Check our website for the most up to date information

Latest News & Updates

Museum of Oxford Friends Launch

After nine months of hard work the Museum of Oxford Friends (MoOF) launch on Friday June 12th in the Old Museum was a resounding success. Here are some more details of their aims and needs - let them know... Read article