Christchurch, Dorset

Museum description

The Red House is a fine Georgian building built in 1764 as a workhouse. There is a small coffee shop with seating in the gardens in fine weather.

You will find The Red House near the Priory. Go the top of the High Street, turn right into Church Lane and you will see Th e Red House opposite on the left.

There are a wide range of exhibits so you never feel bogged down or lose interest.  Also the labelling and explanations are excellent.  It is extremely easy to understand exactly what each exhibit is.

In addition to the permanent displays, The Red House also has an art gallery and runs family friendly workshops.

Local history material

The Red House has collection of over 50,000 photographs and archives related to the local history of Christchurch. The images include those of Victorian Christchurch.

For opening times and further details, visit the Red House website


The upper floor of The Red House is given over to a display of finds found in the local area and date from the bronze age up to the 17th century.

The area around Christchurch Harbour, a superb and very large natural harbour, has been settled for around 5000 years, with the area between the two rivers, the Avon and the Stour, which both feed into the head of the harbour, being the most popular area for habitation.

Displays include details of the 1936 excavation of the long barrow at Holdenhurst ( a little further west in modern Bournemouth) which dates back to the Neolithic period.  Hengistbury Head, at the mouth of the Harbour, was occupied well before Roman times and archaeological finds from this area can be seen.

Flint scappers and arrowheads can be seen in abundance, as well as bronze age axes and iron age pottery is on display.

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