Did you know?

Canterbury Museum had among its early collections 'hairs from the head of Napoleon Bonaparte' and 'the severed hand of Sir John Heydon' from a duel fought in 1600.

Canterbury Corporation bought the museum from Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution for £1,600 in 1846.

Donors of objects include the national hero of Peru, General William Miller, Grand Marshel of Ayacucho, who was born in Wingham near Canterbury.

A narwhal tusk at the Beaney was given by Reverend Holman, who took part in the search for Sir John Franklin's doomed Artic expedition to find the North-West Passage.

A fossil fish given to Francis Crow by the Royal Institute of Paris has an exact matching French half and was probably part of an Italian collection looted by Napoleon.

The Beaney Institute cost £16,000 to build in 1899, when labourers earned about £60 per year, skilled tradesmen £90, surgeons £475 and solicitor's £1,340.

An ancient Egyptian staff-head with ibis and cobra decoration was found in digging docks for Nelson's ships at the Battle of the Nile.

Two 17th-century pubs, The Greyhound and The George and Dragon, were demolished to make way for the Beaney.

Excavation's revealed ancient Roman 'fast-food' shops on the site of the Beaney extension.

Much of the exterior woodwork was found to have been destroyed by death-watch beetle and had to be re-carved.

The Colpepper Institute in Powell and Pressburger's 1944 film A Canterbury Tale is based on the Beaney.

The Beaney displays include over 1,000 objects.


Staircase and Dutch stained glass window inside the Beaney Art Museum and Library

Explore the Beaney

Discover the rooms and galleries within the newly refurbished Beaney Art Museum and Library.




Harriet Halhed, Little Girl at the Door, on display at the Beaney Art Museum and Library


Explore the permanent collections on display at the Beaney from ancient Egyptian artefacts to paintings by local artists such as Thomas Sidney Cooper.

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