Did you know?


  • The World War Two Dambuster bouncing bomb was not a bomb at all, but a mine. It was detonated by hydrostatic charges when it reached a certain depth under water. Inventor Barnes Wallis got the idea from skimming pebbles as a boy!


  • There have been three piers at Herne Bay – all destroyed by storms, ships or fire! In an early, but never-built design visitors to the end of the pier would have climbed up through a statue of King William IV to be rewarded with a panoramic view.


  • Herne Bay Pier once had a railway line and sail-powered carriage called a sail barge, which took visitors to the end of the pier and back. The service was stopped after one ended up in the sea, killing a passenger.


  • Penny licks were ice creams that you bought in shallow glass containers, before the introduction of the ice cream cone. They weren’t always washed out properly between customers!


  • Herne Bay Clock Tower was the world’s first purpose built free-standing clock tower, and opened in 1837. The original clock mechanism is on display in the museum.


  • The Museum has lots of important finds from the Roman fort at Reculver which guarded one end of the Wantsum Channel separating the Isle of Thanet from the rest of Kent in Roman times. Only half of the Roman fort now survives, the rest being the victim of coastal erosion.


  • Smuggling was once rife in the Herne Bay area. A smuggler’s lantern and grapnel (a three-pronged hook for retrieving contraband from the seabed) is evidence of this once lucrative, but illegal, trade.


  • The beach at Beltinge near Herne Bay is an excellent place to find fossil sharks teeth which are 50 million years old. They are just as sharp as the day they were lost! Find some in the hands-on tray on your next visit.

Follow the Museums on:

How to find us

Herne Bay Museum and Gallery
12 William Street, CT6 5EJ

Nine miles from Canterbury via A28 and A291. Nearest station: One mile from Herne Bay train station

Phone: 01227 367368