Petersfield Museums and Galleries

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Petersfield Museums

Petersfield Museum

The Collections at the museum consist of maps, photographs, oral history and artefacts.

The map collection dates from 1868 through to the present day.

The oral history collection has been built up over the last 10 years and includes memories from local people on World War II, school days, working and social lives of local residents.

The photograph collection dates from the beginning of the 20th Century and shows how the town and area has changed, local people and events.

The collections are displayed as a timeline with local fossils representing the geology of the area, through to flint tools that were found on the heath and up to the 20th Century with artefacts from World War II and locally produced Minibrix.

Flora Twort Gallery

In 2009, the museum acquired the Flora Twort collection and the 18th Century cottage where Flora lived, from Hampshire County Council. This collection is made up of paintings, sketches notebooks and archives. The museum continues to collect items relating to Flora and her work.

Flora Twort (1893-1985) took up painting when she was four. She studied at the London School of Art, the London Polytechnic and the Slade School of Art.

She moved to Petersfield at the end of the First World War and opened a bookshop at 1 and 2 The Square. She used the top floor of the bookshop as her studio and painted many scenes of the life of the town and its residents.

In 1948 Flora moved into her new studio in Church Path, where she continued her work, mainly portraits and watercolours. Eventually she retired at the age of 81.

Many of her works were hung in The Royal Academy and in other London galleries.

Petersfield Museum

Bedales Historic Costume Collection

Bedales School, near Petersfield, began collecting historic clothes in the 1940s (before they were seen as valuable collectors’ items) and then used them as costumes in school plays. The school donated 1000 pieces of this collection to Petersfield Museum in 2007 and it is now available to view on display and for researchers in the Flora Twort Gallery.

The collection is varied and includes crinolines, ball gowns, hunting coats, hats, mourning wear, swimwear, underwear, debutante gowns, and an elegant England First XI ladies’ hockey dress from the 1890s (with lace cuffs!)

The oldest pieces are women’s dresses from the 1720s; the oldest male costume is a coat and long waistcoat, beautifully hand-embroidered in silk, from the 1770s. English chintz dresses from the Regency and Victorian periods are matched by more modern examples, including an immensely thick and heavy ruched ball gown from the 1950s in the fashionable and expensive material of the time – nylon.

Museum Links

Museum Website


Link: Flora Twort Gallery


Link: Historic Costume Collection


Petersfield Museum
The Old Courthouse
St Peters Road
GU32 3HX

Telephone: 01730 262601

Petersfield Museum

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