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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 2017 - 20 Dec 2017)
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
  • Certificate of Excellence 2017

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    63
  • Very Good
    20
  • Average
    5
  • Poor
    2
  • Terrible
    2

Recent Reviews:

  • paulgreyn0lds
    Maidenhead, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Superb! Especially if you are an aviation fan
    4 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 11th October 2017
    Visited with my daughter and was made to feel very welcome. The exhibition of the flyers who moved planes during the war was fascinating. The heritage centre is small but vibrant with enthusiastic... Read full review
  • pinkngreendaisy
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    A fascinating visit
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 26th September 2017
    This place is a hidden gem, full of interesting and well thought out displays about the local area. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and more than willing to answer questions and/or point out... Read full review
  • Garry M
    London
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Very enjoyable, very friendly
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 23rd September 2017
    I have to say I spent two hours or so here, having a very nice afternoon indeed. The staff are incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable. We had essentially a tour guide all to ourselves, who took... Read full review

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