Exhibitions and events
Find out what's on in all our heritage venues: Guildford Museum, Guildford House Gallery, Guildhall and Guildford Castle.
Find out what's on in all our heritage venues.
Platinum Jubilee - A Time of Celebration
Guildford Museum is celebrating The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. With a display of objects and images to remember how Guildford has celebrated royal occasions.
Location: Guildford Museum
Dates: 14 May - 18 June
Times: Wednesdays to Saturdays midday to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm)
Entry is free.
Family Fun Activities
Create a dish for the Jubilee tea table
Join this drop-in craft activity to add to the Tea Table, a feature of the display
Look for the symbol to find Royal-related objects around the museum
Oyez family fun drop-in creative activity
Create a traditional tri-corn hat as worn by the town criers. For centuries, town criers have rang their bells to share news of celebration and great importance.
Dates and times for Oyez family fun:
1 June midday to 1.30pm
1 June 2pm to 3.30pm
Free with all materials supplied
All children must be accompanied by adults
Model Town - Build Guildford
Guildford is full of wonderful buildings. This spring our temporary exhibitions gallery at Guildford Museum is home to Model Town- Build Guildford,a display with activity at its heart.
Join in by making a model of one of the town's famous landmarks or a building that means something to you. We'll supply the boxes and other materials. Come to one of our facilitated Family Fun sessions or drop in during opening hours. Suitable for all ages. We can't wait to see what wonderful models you make!
Location: Guildford Museum
Dates: 26 March - 7 May
Times: Drop in anytime Wednesday to Saturday midday to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm).
Entry is free.
A display from the Surrey Infantry Collection
Guildford is the home of England's oldest infantry regiment: The Queen's Royal Regiment. It was raised in 1661 by King Charles II to garrison Tangier in Morocco. Through objects and images our case display from the Surrey Infantry Collection introduces The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment. It brings us the stories which connect the Regiment to Guildford and the people who live here. As well as exploring the history of the regiment the display features Corporal Jesse Peters, who was the Town Crier of Guildford from 1946-1966.
Location: Guildford Museum
Dates: Opens 16 February
Image 1: Jesse Peters 'crying' for Guildford, wearing his military medals. Photo provided by David Peters.
Image 2: Soldiers from The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) at the Second Battle of El Alamein, 1942. Photo provided by the Surrey Infantry Collection.
On the Trail of Guildford's History
Be a history detective! Search Guildford Museum, Quarry Street and Guildford Castle Grounds to find clues which tell us about the past.
Or pick up a copy from Guildford Museum. We are open Wednesday to Saturday midday to 4.30pm.
Finds identification sessions
Have you come across an interesting archaeological object while out walking or using a metal detector? Bring your find to our Finds identification sessions, and find out more about it.
Our Surrey Finds Liaison Officer, Simon Maslin will take a look.
Location: Guildford House, 155 High Street, Guildford
Dates: Second Saturday of each month beginning Saturday 14 May - 11am to 1pm. (There will not be a finds identification session in April.)
Guildford Games Collection Project
We are running a project to collect as many video games made by gaming studios within the borough as we can. These will be added to our permanent collection.
We will also be holding an exhibition in summer 2022. To find out more read our To find out more read our blog.
The Scullery Playroom
A relaxed environment where pre-school children can have fun and develop key skills. Children can learn communication, language, numeracy, gross motor and fine motor skills.
In the Scullery playroom children can:
- role play with the toy kitchen complete with colourful fabric food
- make a pizza and lay a table for dinner
- try washing the Victorian way
- join in with the traditional nursery rhymes printed on the walls
- colouring and activity sheets with pencils and crayons
- relax on a beanbag and read a washing or cooking themed book
- view our display of old cooking equipment
Children should be supervised in the room.
The Scullery Playroom at Guildford Museum is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government through the Welcome Back Fund.
Location: Guildford Museum
Coffee Time Talks
Join us on the first Thursday of the month for an informative but relaxed talk on topics of local interest.
A chance to meet with other people for coffee and chat first followed by the talk which lasts about 50 minutes. All talks are free but voluntary donations are welcome.
Please prebook your place by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 01483 444751.
Times: Doors open at 10.30am. Talks start at 11am and last for about 50 minutes.
- Thursday 26 May: Royal Guildford. As we mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee join town guide Steve Callaghan for this armchair tour of Guildford looking at the town's links to royalty. Location: Guildhall
- Thursday 7 July: The History of Newlands Corner. Join Trevor Brook from Albury History Society to learn more about this fascinating place: Fairyland, a hospital, soil buildings, airshows, Stracheys, Agatha Christie, Clough Williams-Ellis and evacuees. Location: Guildhall
- Thursday 4 August: Georgian Women, Portraits by John Russell. Learn about Russell's techniques and the women in the portraits with Lynn Szygenda, Exhibitions and Audience Development Officer. Location: Guildford House Gallery
Discover Guildford's history from home with our online exhibitions.
Georgian Women Portraits by John Russell
Guildford Borough Council's Heritage Service holds over 35 original works by John Russell, including 19 female portraits. This online display features all the female portraits.
Dip into Guildford Heritage Service's collection of photographs of Guildford taken over 100 years ago.
Guildford's Quilt - Stitch yourself into history!
Be a part of our community project.
The Ripley Lending Quilt at Guildford Museum
Being kind to each-other is so important, especially now.
This patchwork cover was made in the late 1800s by The Girls' Friendly Society, and lent to comfort sick villagers in Ripley, Surrey.
Piecing together fabric from old clothes and furnishings to make a new textile is a centuries old craft, creating something new out of old cloth. The simple stitching process is also very soothing.
The Ripley Lending Quilt survives as a record of our kindness to each-other in difficult times.
It is displayed at Guildford Museum where it inspires our patchwork project and display.
As we move into Spring and an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, we are asking you to take a moment to reflect, to remember past acts of kindness that helped you through difficult times, or to capture your hopes for a kinder world ahead.
We are inviting Guildford residents, whatever your age or sewing ability to capture your memories and hopes, in pictures and words on a square or design for a new community quilt - Guildford's Quilt.
To be a part of this project please send or deliver the square, information about it and your contact details to us at Guildford Museum.
All squares must be received by 1 September 2021.
Please share pictures of your work with us on Facebook and Instagram @guildfordsheritageservices.
Tag us in your posts and we will share your designs. Email the image of your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share on our social media channels.
Your squares will be displayed at Guildford Museum, and then with the expert help of Stitch Together, (formerly the South East Region of the Embroiderers' Guild), they will be stitched together to create Guildford's Quilt. This will become part of Guildford Heritage Service's needlework collection, as a permanent record of this moment in time.
Join our free drop-in design and stitch session on Saturday 14 Aug. 11am and 2pm.
How to make your Square
Make a template to the dimensions described to make your fabric square, or to provide a drawn design.
Here are some ideas you might like to try when decorating your square.
Traditional Quilt Patterns - Use fabric that is meaningful to you to produce a patch like those found on traditional patchwork quilts. You might like to use fabric from a favourite old dress, shirt or furnishing that brings back memories. Will you share those memories or stories with us too?
Applique - Create a pictorial design by cutting shapes from fabric and stitching or sticking them to your patch.
Cross-stitch - For people wanting to include text or names into their square, cross stitch might be the technique for you. It is also great for simple motifs such as a house.
Embroidery - For more experienced sewers, using a range of stitches allows you to stitch more intricate designs such as flowers.
Don't know how to sew, or don't have access to sewing materials? Use things that you find around you, create a square using glue and paper and whatever else you can find!
Design only - For people that like to draw, use our template to draw or colour a design on paper - we'll do the rest.