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Our museums today

Our museums today

A place for all

Since 1865 we have celebrated Northampton locally, and internationally with our shoe collection. We are proud to be a vibrant space for all people and we continue to be free for all. We aim to inspire discussion, debate and social interaction – a place where everyone is welcome, whether for an exhibition visit, a specific event or meeting up with friends in the café.

We care for two museum sites, Abington Park Museum and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is under-going a major redevelopment and is due to re-open in early 2021. Abington Park Museum is currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Abington Park Museum

A learning space

The original museum was founded on principles of helping people to learn about the world following the Museums Act of 1845, which enabled boroughs with populations of 10,000 or more to raise a tax to set-up libraries and museums. The Shoe Collection was specifically founded as a reference collection for the shoemakers of Northampton to help them in their craft. This collection now inspires shoemakers and creativity across the world. Today the museum welcomes formal learners through schools, colleges and universities in organised sessions alongside informal learners curious about their world and town.

Our vision

To be a focus for Northampton’s arts, heritage and culture and the international centre of excellence for shoe heritage, valued and enjoyed by all.

Our mission

Using our collections, knowledge and expertise, to engage with the people of Northampton

Rich history

We are more than 150 years old and have a rich and vibrant history serving the people of Northampton. Our latest phase is the expansion and redevelopment of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Explore our history

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery expansion project