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Maidenhead Heritage Centre

Museum

Add Maidenhead Heritage Centre to your Itinerary

Maidenhead Heritage Centre

Address/Location

18 Park Street
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 1SL

Contact

Tel: +44 (0)1628 780555

Learn all about the history of Maidenhead AND fly in a Spitfire simulator at this little gem of a museum!

The history of Maidenhead can be told through its River, its Roads and its Railway, for the fortunes of the town depend largely on transportation and communications.

In its permanent and temporary exhibitions, Maidenhead Heritage Centre tells the story of the town and its relationships to older nearby villages and towns (there was a Roman villa at Cox Green and Cookham and Bray were recorded in the Domesday Book). 

It records the significance of the building in 1250 of the first wooden bridge across the Thames, carrying the road from London to Bath and Bristol and establishing the town at a key location along this route. 
During Georgian times the present stone bridge was built and Maidenhead grew rich from the coaching trade. 

The prosperity of the area was further enhanced in Victorian times, when Brunel built his famous Great Western Railway right through the town. His unique brick built “Sounding Arch” bridge still carries the railway across the Thames. Although the railway was the death knell of the coaching trade, Maidenhead’s Riverside area became fashionable tourist destination, right up until the outbreak of the First World War.

The town has been home to many celebrities and important historical figures, and was chosen to host the Brigade of Guards Boat Club, sited beside the river near the bridge – the resulting influx of Victorian and Edwardian high society was both stimulating and scandalous!

Also housed at the Heritage Centre is the internationally important collection telling the story of the Air Transport Auxiliary, which was headquartered at nearby White Waltham throughout the Second World War. 

This was a civilian, volunteer unit, supporting the RAF by helping to ferry aircraft between factories and front-line squadrons.  Its male AND female pilots came from 25 different countries, including the USA.   Their adventures of courage, skill and sacrifice are told in the permanent  Grandma Flew Spitfires exhibition.

You can also step back in time and fly a Spitfire in our unique simulator – experience for yourself what it must have been like for these young and adventurous pilots during the 1940s!

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2016 - 20 Dec 2016)
DayTimes
Monday
Tuesday10:0016:00*
Wednesday10:0016:00*
Thursday10:0016:00*
Friday10:0016:00*
Saturday10:0016:00*
Sunday

* As well as the normal opening times the Heritage Centre is open on the second Sunday of the month from 10am-12.30pm to accompany the Farmers' Market.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

Awards

  • Regional and Miscellaneous -TripAdvisor - Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor - Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    43
  • Very Good
    16
  • Average
    4
  • Poor
    2
  • Terrible
    2

Recent Reviews:

  • Dominic-ch
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Great Museum, realistic simulator
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 13th September 2016
    Very friendly and informative staff for a large foreign group. They even found a German speaker in their volunteers to guide the fliers in the group on how to use the simulator. A very nice... Read full review
  • roadcare
    Reading, United Kingdom
    Nice little museum
    3 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 31st August 2016
    Interesting local museum with Roman dress-up box for children. Would have liked to learn more about Tony Vandervell and his Company, but only a couple of small exhibits. The Spitfire exhibit would be... Read full review
  • mjera
    Maidenhead
    Well worth a visit
    4 of 5 stars
    Monday, 15th August 2016
    The centre has a small, but excellent, permanent display of Maidenhead archaeology interesting to all age groups. It offers exhibitions, such as the current one on the now defunct Skindles Hotel, and... Read full review

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