The Priory Room
Redbourn's Early History
Redbourn Priory was dedicated to St. Amphibalus, the priest that converted Alban to Christianity. A large quantity of priory stones are on display together with an astrolabe and details of the excavation. Copies of writing by the famous monk, Matthew Paris, explain the story of Alban, England's first saint and Amphibalus, whose shrines can be seen at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Albans.
Other archaeological finds include a neolithic axe head, and a rare tree pump in a section dedicated to water pumps. Our museum has an eclectic collection of local history!
The Skillman Gallery
for temporary exhibitions
The upstairs gallery is dedicated to Ann Skillman, a villager who
amassed many valuable items and photographs which formed the basis of the museum collection.
The Skillman Gallery is used for temporary exhibitions and also a mini cinema showing cine films made by John Heather in and around the village between 1947 and 1953.
Around the walls is a detailed wall hanging featuring scenes of Redbourn, made for the Millennium by the Redbourn in Stitches group.
In 2010, Redbourn celebrated the 900th anniversary of St. Mary's Church with a festival of events, Redbourn 900. The museum houses a commemorative album of the activities and a replica cricket bat, commissioned for one of the events and signed by the England and Australian cricket teams.
The Occupations Room
Local trade and industry
A representation of a Victorian Parlour from 1900 brings to life the former home of the manager of Redbourn Silk Mill which was built on this site in 1857 by John Woollam.
In 1940, Brooke Bond purchased the Silk Mill and moved their coffee packing section from London to Redbourn, and in 1960, replaced sheds with a large, modern tea packing factory.
The room has a display about George Wilson's chemist shop and his medicine cabinet, now a set of discovery drawers housing a selection of mystery objects.
Redbourners were also involved in straw plaiting, working from home or in the hat factory. Russell Harborough's jam factory also provided employment.
A interesting display introduces Dr Henry Stephens who was recognised for his great surgical skills and also for creating Blue-Black writing fluid "Stephens' Ink." More at The Stephens Collection.
Beautiful all year round!
The museum garden is now an outdoor gallery, featuring the impressive doorway that was once the entrance to Redbourn House. Formerly the largest residence in the village, it was frequently visited by the Queen Mother, as it belonged to member of the Bowes-Lyon family.
We also have farm implements, stocks, weighing machines and a mural created from historic tools, made to resemble a steam train on the local Nickey Line, which stopped at Redbourn Station, between Harpenden and Hemel Hempstead.
Stay a while, relaxing in the pretty garden, perhaps enjoying a picnic overlooking Redbourn's beautiful Common.