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Guildford Museum

About Guildford Museum

Guildford Museum is located within historic buildings next to Guildford Castle Grounds. It's free to visit. The museum is home to a permanent collection of objects from Guildford and the surrounding areas, dating from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum also runs a variety of changing exhibitions.

History of Guildford Museum

Guildford Museum is formed of four main buildings, with various smaller additions. These buildings, Castle Arch House, 48 Quarry Street, the gallery extension and the Muniment Room, date from the mid-16th century to the 1920s. 

historic image

Castle Arch House is partly built using the walls from the gatehouse to the castle. The sheriff of Guildford Castle built the gatehouse in 1256. You can still see the remains of the arch that was part of the gateway. 

Guildford Museum Opening 1911
The museum buildings have had various uses over the years. Castle Arch House was a high-class family home but was later split into five cottages. For many years, a girls' school used 48 Quarry Street and where the Muniment Room was once a garage. 

Image Right: Watercolour of Museum front by Henry James Sage (1868 - 1953).

Image Left: Opening of new museum building 1911.

Watch this short video to find out more about the buildings that form Guildford Museum. The video was created with the help of our skilled volunteers.  


Visiting Guildford Museum

Opening times

Guildford Museum is open Wednesday to Saturdays, 12 noon to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm).


Guildford Museum
Castle Arch 
Quarry Street


Free entry


Phone: 01483 444751

Getting here 


There are various car parks and on-street parking places in Guildford town centre. Find out more about Guildford's car parks and .

Blue Badge holders can park at the metered parking almost opposite the museum in Quarry Street. There is a dropped kerb at the junction with Castle Street. Find out more about Blue Badge parking in Guildford.

On Foot

Guildford Museum is about 200 metres from the bottom of Guildford High Street.

The High Street is pedestrianised between the following times:

  • Monday to Friday: 11am to 4pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 6pm
  • Sunday: 12noon to 5pm

Public transport


Guildford Museum is about 500 metres from the Friary Bus Station. There is a step-free route across two roads and through White Lion Walk shopping centre.


Guildford Museum is about 750 metres from Guildford Railway Station, on the South Western Railway line from London Waterloo to Portsmouth. There is a step-free route from the station across the River Wey into the town centre but with several roads to cross. This can be partially undercover by walking through The Friary and White Lion Walk shopping centres.

View Guildford Museum in a larger map

Access Information 

Our access guide will help you plan your visit to Guildford Museum. It gives details on how we can make your visit easier and more enjoyable especially if you are disabled or have particular access needs. We also want to let you know in advance about the things that we haven't yet been able to change to improve access.

Read our Guildford Museum Access Guide


What's on at Guildford Museum

Explore our local history from the age of prehistoric man to modern life and times. Discover more about famous people connected with Guildford and Surrey. Including garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and author Lewis Carroll. Enjoy our unique collection of needlework and toys. As well as free displays and exhibitions, we have a programme of events and activities for all ages.

We are open Wednesday to Saturdays 12noon to 4.30pm (last entry 4pm).

Secret Agent Hub

Date: Saturday 10 February until Saturday 6 July

Have you got what it takes to be a secret agent?

The Secret Agent Hub is full of family friendly activities to practise your spy skills, just like those used by SOE agents featured in our Secret Guildford exhibition.

Join Agent Dash Hound to

  • read and send secret messages using Morse Code and Slidex
  • design an everyday object that hides a secret message, map or gadget
  • disguise yourself so the enemy won't recognise you
  • design a camouflage outfit for a secret agent parachuting into enemy land 

Family Fun! I'm a Spy Craft and Story Time

Date: Friday 12 April
Times: 10.30am - 11.15am
Location: Guildford Museum

Free. Donations are welcome. No need to book, places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

A special story time for pre-schoolers and their parents/carers. Listen to the stories about secret agents '006 and a Bit' and 'Spyder'. Make a disguise to hide yourself. A joint event run by Guildford Library and Guildford Museum.


From a Garrison to a Garden

Dates: 27 April to 14 September 2024


Discover stories of Guildford Castle. From Norman fortress, to surviving medieval tower surrounded by glorious gardens.

Find out what it was used for, including a garrison, royal palace and prison. The exhibition tells the story of the Castle Gardens too, with a crafted garden at the centre of the display.  

Drop in to design and create your own flower bed or craft individual flowers and add to our installation. You could also join in our facilitated activities inspired by flowers and gardens.

a vase filled with flowers made from coloured paper
Family Fun Drop In! Big Blooms

Dates: Wednesday 29 May
Times: 12noon - 2pm


Suitable for ages 5+

Help our garden grow by making oversized paper flowers. Take them home with you or leave them with us to brighten up the museum as part of our From a Garrison to a Garden display.

Soldiers of Surrey: A display from the Surrey Infantry Collection

A pair of binoculars on a glass counter
Dates: available during opening hours

Free entry

June 6, 2024, is the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Led by the Allied Forces, the landings liberated Western Europe from Nazi occupation.  

This Surrey Infantry Collection display D-Day +80 commemorates this anniversary of the Normandy landings. Discover the stories of the men of Surrey who helped ensure the success of the Allied landings, told through personal and technical objects. 

Image courtesy of 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.

Download the trail. (PDF) [1MB] or pick up a copy from Guildford Museum.

Find out what's on in our other heritage venues

Museum from home

Don't worry if you can't visit us, you can still have fun, learn and be inspired by Guildford's heritage at home! Take a look at our #MuseumFromHome activities below.

Make your own bag

Make your mini-museum

Make your own tulip in a pot

Make your own virtual Victorian jigsaw

Art inspired meditation

Enjoy our Scullery Playroom

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.

Logo European Regional Development Fund
Logo HM Government

Guildford Games Collection Project

Guildford games blog
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.

Download the list of games we are collecting. (Excel doc) [19KB]  Do you have any you would like to donate? 

 To find out more read our blog. 

Online exhibitions

Discover Guildford's history from home with our online exhibitions. 

Georgian women online exhibition

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. 

View the Georgian Women exhibition (opens new window)

Guildford Streets 
Guildford Streets exhibition

Dip into Guildford Heritage Service's collection of photographs of Guildford taken over 100 years ago. 

View the Guildford Streets exhibition (opens new window)