Some of the rapid developments in technology and industry during the period of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837 to 1901) can be seen in collections at Canterbury Heritage Museum.

Chief among 19th century (not Victorian) exhibits is the real ‘Invicta’ steam locomotive, built by Robert Stephenson for the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, which opened on 3 May 1830, and was the first railway in the world to operate a dedicated steam-powered passenger service. A cross-section of the railway route shows how the wagons were hauled up hills by winding engines.

Many people moved to newly expanding towns and cities to find work. Lives were transformed by the development of transport. Railways enabled people to travel further, faster and at an affordable price. Bicycles gave individuals the freedom to go where they wanted and were particularly important for women, contributing to their liberation. Several Victorian bicycles can be seen, together with photographs of Canterbury cycle club members. Victorian cricketing heroes are also commemorated.

Displays relate to Victorian work and leisure, including innovations that transformed daily life. There is also a focus on Victorian homes and dining, and toys including beautiful dolls with costume accessories and a Noah's Ark. Industrial processes, such as moulding glass or transfer printing on pottery, made attractive items available to everyone. People on middle and lower incomes could buy such items, not just rich people. Differences in materials or quality were what distinguished expensive items from cheaper ones. Special items were developed for different tasks and needs.



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Adults £8.00

Discounts £6.00

Children free to a maximum of two children per paying adult

Group tickets available

Joint ticket for Heritage Museum and Roman Museum (Wednesdays to Sundays until 28 September 2014)
Adults £10.00
Discounts £8.00

Admission free to MyTownMyCity users, except for some special events.


How to find us

Canterbury Heritage Museum
Stour Street, CT1 2NR

Phone: 01227 475202