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Step inside elegant Westbury Manor in the heart of Fareham to discover a wealth of stories about the town’s people, heritage and industrial past.
Formerly home to no less than six admirals of the fleet, explore Westbury Manor to find out about the borough’s origins as a Stone Age settlement, the infamous workhouse scandal of 1837, its long traditions of brickmaking and strawberry production and much more.
There is plenty for all the family to do during your visit. Become an amateur archaeologist and handle real artefacts, use our interactive tablets to find out more about the displays or have fun with our museum trail quiz and hands-on history playsets. While you are here, enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in our café, and browse the wide selection of gifts available in our museum shop. Throughout the year, we run a programme of touring exhibitions, as well as fun events and activities for all the family to enjoy.
With its 17th century core, classical Georgian façade and elegant Victorian rear, Grade II listed Westbury Manor is one of Fareham’s finest and most distinctive buildings. From farmhouse to council offices and even air-raid shelter, Westbury has undergone a number of transformations and was converted to its current day use as a local museum in 1990.
Find out about some of the people who lived and worked in Westbury Manor as you tour the museum, including three generations of the Kelsall family. In 1905, the Reverend John Kelsall wrote The Birds of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, a book still used by birdwatchers to this day.
Westbury Manor’s beautiful gardens are designed to reflect both the Victorian era and the global travels of its naval inhabitants. Laid out as a compass, many of the plants are inspired by the Victorian passion for collecting curiosities from overseas.
Three permanent galleries at the museum are dedicated to a period in the life of Fareham. Many of the objects on display have been donated by local people.
A place through time
In this gallery about Fareham’s early history, view archaeological finds from the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages, find out about the impact of the Black Death on the borough and see one of the museum’s highlights, a 4th century Roman lead curse tablet.
Finding a place in the world
Discover more about some of the people who lived in the town during the 18th and 19th centuries, from high-ranking naval officers to prisoners in the hulks moored in Fareham Creek. It was during this period that Fareham emerged as a world leader in brick production – highly fashionable Fareham Reds were used to build the Royal Albert Hall.
A changing place
From the borough’s fame as the home of the strawberry, to its little-known part in in putting the first man on the moon and the ever-shifting urban landscape, discover the changing face of Fareham in the 20th and 21st centuries.
From brunch to lunch and cream teas, the café at Westbury Manor is the perfect setting for a bite to eat or something to drink. There is plenty of seating, and while you are enjoying something delicious from our locally-sourced menu, take a look at the weird and wonderful collection of curiosities adorning the café’s wall.
Visit our shop for a range of gifts and souvenirs inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibitions. From books to jewellery, china and bags, we have a wide selection of gifts to browse and buy, including pocket-money toys for our younger visitors. Proceeds help to support the work of Hampshire Cultural Trust throughout the county.