The Vale and Downland Museum is located in the busy market town of Wantage in Oxfordshire, UK.
The museum has been nationally acclaimed as an outstanding example of community partnership.
The range of services is very broad-ranging, from galleries interpreting the cultural heritage of the Vale of White Horse region, to a café with a delightful terrace and garden.
It also acts as a springboard for residents and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside around Wantage.
The idea of a museum for Wantage began in 1958 when the Urban District Council appealed objects to form a town collection. The response was so positive that in the 1960s the growing collection was housed in the Civic Hall, and then the Victoria Cross Gallery in Wantage Market Place.
In 1972 the Vale & Downland Museum Trust was formed. The Trust persuaded the Vale of White Horse District Council, newly formed in 1974, to buy the Old Surgery building and lease it to the trust. Initial conversion works were carried out and the museum moved into the Old Surgery in 1975.
Admission to the museum galleries is free but we welcome donations.
The Vale & Downland Museum Trust, a registered charity, promotes and maintains the museum which is a community facility that is operated by, and for the benefit of, the people of Wantage and the Vale of the White Horse.
We are located in the centre of Wantage and encourage you to walk, cycle, or use public transport if possible.
2 hours’ free parking (ticket required) is available at three Council-owned car parks, the closest to the museum being on Portway (OX12 9BU), alternatively Limborough Road (OX12 9AJ) and Mill Street (OX12 9AJ).
All town car parks give easy access to the town centre’s shops and services.
The museum can be found in Church Street, tucked behind the Market Square and opposite the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Museum and Café are open on Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, and closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Last admission to the galleries and last café orders are at 3:30 pm.
Special events & pre-booked group/school visits can be arranged outside these hours.