Guildford Museum, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3SX

Guildford Museum is most renowned for a countywide archaeological collection, a specialist needlework collection and the largest collection of John Russell paintings in the world.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2010

Guildford Heritage Services

Guildford Museum, Quarry Street, Guildford GU1 3SX: 01483 444749Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11am-4.45pmCurator: Nick Booth

What is the museum best-known for?A countywide archaeological collection, a specialist needlework collection and the largest collection of John Russell paintings (one of which is pictured below) in the world!

Tell us your favourite local history story…After an article in a local paper, a man brought in a piece of shrapnel from a Zeppelin bomb that dropped on Guildford during World War One. He had been using it as a doorstop. Apparently, the Zeppelin raid resulted in the deaths of 17 chickens and a swan.

Which is your favourite item in the collection?We have a damask napkin that was made for a visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Loseley Hall. It has a portrait of the queen on one side that is invisible unless viewed from a certain angle. I love the fact she may have used it, and that the family then kept it safe for all this time, before loaning it to a public museum.

…and the strangest?According to our records, we have a scale model of the Garden of Eden in our stores; I have yet to find it. Other strange objects I have seen include the cast of an artist’s hand and a jam jar (with jam) from 1939.

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