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Gloucester Folk Museum

Opened in 1935, the Gloucester Folk Museum was one of the first museums of social history to be established in Britain, filling three timber-framed buildings on Westgate St (Nos 99-101), which had been a merchant's house from the late 15th-century, as well as 103 Westgate St, an early 17th-century building.

John Stanford, a rich clothier and prominent civic figure, was the first notable owner of the whole block (around 1548). Stanford's son Toby became a doctor by 1600 and he sold his property to a surgeon, John Deignton senior, who lived in the building as a neighbour to a brewer, with his brewhouse adjoining.

When Deignton died in 1640, his daughter inherited the property, and after various owners and occupants, a pin-making factory was set up by William Cowcher (1713-1783), where brass pins were made by hand on the top floor. The museum includes the annealing forge as well as hundreds of pins that have been found under the floorboards.

After the pin factory closed over a century later in 1853, occupants and occupations housed in the property included ironmongers, china and glass dealers, booksellers, cobblers and undertakers. All this is illustrated via various exhibits and displays, including Gloucester bank notes, civil war relics, children's toys, cheese-making equipment, and more.

The beamed 16th- & 17th-century façade of the Gloucester Folk Museum. Courtesy of Gloucester Folk Museum

Gloucester Folk Museum Information


When: Daily; not Mon or Sun

Where: Gloucester

Cost: Free

Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm

Address: Westgate St , Gloucester, GL1 1PG

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