Our current exhibition

Until 25 March 2023
Free admission, donations welcomed

Crawley Town Centre BID commissioned local artist Jonny Stockbridge, after he came up with the idea of creating 12 Willow and tissue Lanterns with the support of local people. 

The theme he came up with was the 12 days of Christmas to add a festive element. Also he researched all the Zodiac signs and looked at lots of the animals that are associated with each Birth sign. 

Between 3rd – 21st December at the ASK building on Crawley High Street he started to look at each of the Zodiac signs, the different spirit animals connected to each one and then quite spontaneously decide what two or three animals would be merged into that willow lantern. Sometimes the whole form would be influenced such as Virgo with a foxes head and bumble bees body and sometimes just the decoration. For example within the Gemini Lantern. Although the shape is predominantly a peacock, the colouring is actually also incorporating a rain deer and a budgerigar.

 Members of the public, local volunteers and refugees came to learn how to make them and enjoy the process. They were then all exhibited within the Windows of ASK until 6th January 2023. From 12th January 2023 they will be exhibited at the Crawley Museum as part of a Zodiac Creature Trail, where people can hunt them down as they explore the museum. 

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Our current exhibition

Until 25 March 2023
Free admission, donations welcomed

Crawley Museum is going a bit Jurassic, when a 5-metre Stegosaurus skeleton cast goes on display. The family friendly exhibition has been partly funded by Crawley BID. It will be the first time Crawley Museum has displayed anything of its size or stature at their site in The Tree since they moved in, in 2018.

black image of a dinosaur on a background of green, orange, purple and blue.

Stegosaurus sun catcher.

Stegosaurus prehistoric landscape sun catchers drop-in family fun craft workshop. Be inspired by a our Stegosaurus  exhibition and create your own stegosaurus landscape silhouette sun catcher to display on your window at home. No booking required, just ask at the welcome desk when you arrive. Donations welcome. Available during museum opening times 10.30 – 16.00

For February half term the museum and exhibition will be open extended hours

Tuesday 14th February 10:30-4 – Stegosaurus prehistoric landscape sun catchers in the Learning Space

Wednesday 15th February 10:30-4 – Stegosaurus prehistoric landscape sun catchers in the Learning Space

Thursday 16th February 10:30-4 – Dinosaur Dig- Uncover T-Rex or Sabre-tooth tiger bones in the Learning Space.

Friday 17th February 10:30-4- Dinosaur Dig- Uncover T-Rex or Sabre-tooth tiger bones in the Learning Space. Film showings in the Meeting Room- 11am The Good Dinosaur, 1pm Ice Age 3.

Saturday 18th February 10:30-4- Dinosaur Dig- Uncover T-Rex or Sabre-tooth tiger bones in the Learning Space. Film showings in the Meeting Room- 11am The Good Dinosaur, 1pm Ice Age 3.


Bookable March Saturday only workshops with Jonny Stockbridge


Saturday 11th & 25th March 2-4pm Dinosaur bone casting making workshops

Join artist Jonny Stockbridge for this fun and interactive workshop. Using a variety of materials and objects pressed into sand, create your own dinosaur bone fossils out of plaster to take home. All materials will be supplied.

Suggest age range, 7+. Bookable family making workshops. Limited numbers available. Book soon to ensure you don’t miss out.

Dinosaur casting workshop


Saturday 4th & 18th March 2-4pm Dinosaur silhouette lantern making workshops

Join artist Jonny Stockbridge for this fun and interactive workshop. Design glowing, prehistoric sunset backgrounds, and dinosaur silhouettes. Working with willow stems and tissue paper transform your designs into a 3D self-standing lantern to take home. All materials will be supplied.

Suggest age range, 7+. Bookable family making workshops. Limited numbers available. Book soon to ensure you don’t miss out.

Day of dinosaur lantern making workshop 

All the sessions are currently fully booked.

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21 January 2023 - 21 January 2023

Writing Around the Kids project enables mothers of young children to write creatively. Novelist Anna Jefferson and writer Sam Johnson began the project having recognised in their own lives how difficult it is to forge creative time around their families. Working in partnership with Crawley Museum, they have worked with a brilliant group of women in Crawley who have written some fantastic pieces of work, see below, many inspired by objects in the museum.


Writing Around the Kids deliver workshops, podcasts and panels in partnership with cultural organisations and authors. To find out more, please visit


Crawley Writing Around the Kids was supported by Crawley Borough Council in partnership with Crawley Museum and New Writing South.



The dress is hanging on the mannequin, demur in the cabinet. It’s quiet and understated in its majesty. If I were to describe this dress as food, it would be a Mille-feuille, light and delicate but intricate and a lot more to it than a first glance would reveal. It deserves to be gazed upon and admired for its construction. This lace and silk concoction would delight the tastebuds, the lace would move with a delicate crunch, the silk petticoats full and soft like a patisserie cream filling. The fragile piece is finished off with thousands of tiny sparkling gems covering the dress like a soft dusting of icing sugar, gleaming in the museum lights. Strings of bronze threads finish the piece like delicate webs of spun sugar. Time should be taken to absorb every detail and to admire the dress for what it is, a beautiful piece of art from a bygone era. This dress transports you back to a different time, maybe an evening of decadent opulence. A dance at the big house, a celebration or a debutante ball, it’s a chance to dress up, to show off the latest fabrics, fashions and styles. It would be a feast for the senses, a cacophony of laughing, giggling, gossiping voices, in harmony with the music coming from a quartet in the corner of the room. The ladies would wait to be asked to dance before being whirled around the dance floor like the twirling of colourful Chinese paper umbrellas. The heady scent of the latest perfumes from Paris and New York fashion houses would rise with the heat generated by those dancing under the glass conservatory dome. Oh the stories this dress could tell.\



Walking into the Medieval  section in Crawley Museum,  I am drawn to what looks like a broken into two, but seemingly complete jug. It was clearly showing its eight centuries with cracks, breaks and discolouration. The information leaflet usefully placed next to it informs me of my mistake – there are in fact some pieces missing despite the effort to repair it.

Being a decorative jug in Medieval times, it’s possible that it was used for displaying its beauty on its own or with a beautiful rainbow of fresh fragrant roses.

Maybe the jug was used for serving hot or cold drinks to serve guests. The server would pick up the smooth, glossy but thick kiln baked handle and pour a glass of water from this once gorgeous jug. The guest would hold their glass up to their mouth, getting the slight muddy smell given by the hunk of clay that the dish was made out of. I can imagine the water refreshing the guests mouth with an earthy taste of cold energising water. After swallowing, the chilled liquid would trickle slowly down the throat.  It would race through their chest, giving the heart a cooling sensation before finally settling in the stomach to nourish the rest of their body.

Such items would presumably be expensive in Medieval times purchased with a lot of thought and love by the lady of the house, so it would have been an unfortunate accident where the jug would have slipped from someone’s hands and broken into so many different pieces that it couldn’t be repaired since then.


A step in the right direction by NASIMA KHAN

As I call Anna to pin me directions to crawley museum, it took me five minutes to follow on Google maps with correct postcode. I was fascinated being in museum for the first time looking at all kind of ancient objects. While I was there I had a glimpse of horse carriages during  tour guide.

The roads to crawley back in the day;

people were travelling on horse drawn carriages, in a split second I realised what was happening.

How did I  get here today? From coaches and horses to cars,  bicycles, trains and took a lid off my imagination to the others kingdoms. I was in the mountains of Murree with my mother picking flowers, collecting woods and feathers , had secrets to share warm hearts and hands that really care.On our way back home over the river through the woods she used to tell me stories of our Nani and her journey on the horses. An angel lived among us , a gift from God above.she was a remarkable women. She is someone  we admire , respect and love very much.

Oh what fun it would have been for me to see a carriage drawn by horse faster than fairies, faster then witches even after all these years you can find them still, of course. But you can imagine just how existing they were in their day. So many wonderful styles there were with an old fashioned classic touch so if I get a chance to ride on a horse drawn carriage some time I will  just jump at the chance because I know it’s the most existing day I will find.

There was a hill and there was a river. Each a glimpse and gone forever!

You will be greatly missed to my mama and Nani. We needed someone to guide us to right direction.

Straight ahead backwards and you end up where you are, you don’t know where you came from and how you got this far. If life is like a road and a road has a dead end. If your heart desires to begin another route of your career or of love , or the things you now dream of, or to find your purpose . There  is nothing wrong at all with changing to new locations on your gps system. Because if you don’t change your direction you might end up where you are heading.


My favourite piece in the Crawley Museum is a Shield by JENNY DAVIS

Wooden carved object heavily detailed.

Lion caught my eye. (Three lions on a shirt with Gareth Southgate) He was part of Crawley Town.

The Crown on the master piece like the current King, ‘King Charles’.

Acorns reminds me of oak trees, rock hard and stale, in Ifield and Buchan Park.

The birds remind me of pigeons hanging around on Crawley Town Centre Square.

The leaves fallen down in Tilgate in the Autumn looking beautiful with, red, brown, orange, yellow and green. Whilst walking by accident I crunched on the leaves trying to stick to the paths.

The texture is very hard and foul tasting, this tasted of mud in a ancient history, throw back in time. Acorns are hard like Conker’s in Autumn time. Reminding me of my childhood times playing Conker’s with my friends in the playground. Using string bang, knock, knock, half the time hit or miss!

This could be made of Christmas Chestnut being burnt on a open fire, remembering Christmas times in Crawley at Tilgate Park at a Christmas Fair.

The hammer is for Crawley Magistrates. I could imagine this banging down, order, order.

But this looks stunning being carved, this last forever in Crawley Museum, everlasting piece that is ancient and well looked after!

Lovely plaque on the wall.


Quaker Bonnet by AYESHA KHAN

Sarah stop! He exclaimed. Amidst my way back home, I paused for a second and turned back. Irrespective of my expectation of a girl in the streets of Crawley, she was a girl with some head covering. I was amazed at this sight. At first, I assumed her to be a Muslim. But again, to my astonishment, she had a cross necklace dangling from her neck. It intrigued me.

Even after resuming my journey, I continued thinking about the relationship between the head covering, and necklace to that girl.

I started searching for it. I consulted different books and visited a bishop. Finally, a whole new concept dawned upon me. The Quakers!

People identifying themselves as Christians, and leading a simple and modest life. They wore simple clothes devoid of embellishments and usually of decent colors like black, white, and grey. Women cover their heads with specific head scarves called “Quaker bonnets”.

Finally, the mystery of Sara and her attire was resolved.


A Busy Market Place by Shabana

The hour was very early as Jemima Forster got up and got ready for market. She grabbed her little purse, her handkerchief and keys, tucking them away in a pocket somewhere on her person. She double checked everything then left the house, locking the door after her.

Ever since she had been widowed, she had become the mistress of her late husband’s house. He had been a good man, her Joseph. He hadn’t left her much, so to make ends meet she did what she had to do. She had taken in quite a few lodgers, on top of which she worked in the market selling whatever she could.

Now that she had left her house, she went straight to the trader to pick up the wares she was to sell. Her cart seemed full today. Looked like the fisherman had come through as she could see some fish there as well. The fish had the smell of the sea, which was to be expected.

Jemima hung her money pouch on the side of the stall. The people who knew her respected her, because of her no-nonsense attitude. Even the thieves and pickpockets stayed away from her out of fear and respect. She was that scary to them.

Soon Jemima was calling out her wares to passers-by, who were willing to buy from her since her prices were always fair. Joseph always told her to be fair and not over charge. He was always saying that there could be someone less fortunate than them who may not be able to afford it, which is why he kept prices fair. It was only proper for her to follow in his footsteps.

Before starting out, Jemima always put a little something to the side so that there would be something to feed all the mouths at home at the end of the day. Mornings would always be busy with customers coming and going and other vendors shouting out their greetings.

“Morning Jem Forster, here’s your usual for your breakfast. Scones and tea,” said Ma Beckett coming up to Jemima.

“Lovely weather we’re having, Ma Beckett. It has customers out in droves!” Answered Jemima as she took the flask of tea and poured herself a cup. “And thank you for this wonderful breakfast as usual. You outdo yourself every time Ma Beckett.”

The two women had a short conversation with each other until it got busy and Ma Beckett had to leave. Ma Beckett took care of breakfast for all the vendors at the market. She was very good at it and also sharing the latest gossip with each person she met.

It tended to get slow around lunchtimes, picking up a bit around tea time. She always had her usual customers, who were her regulars. Then there were some who weren’t her regulars.

Once Jemima was finished, she would take her earnings and cart back to the trader. She would pay the trader his due and anything left over, she would use to buy whatever else was needed to make dinner for herself and her lodgers. If any guests made an appearance, they would always be fed also. Jemima didn’t mind cooking for lots of people.


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1 December 2022 - 28 January 2023
Free admission, donations welcomed

A decision was made, in connection with Network Rail, to design and create a picture for the bridge at Three Bridges Station.

This would be a Community project involving local schools.

Local schools were contacted to supply artwork for the mural. The themes were trains/railways/journeys.

Five schools responded. These were:
Three Bridges Primary School
Pound Hill Junior School
Milton Mount School
Maidenbower Junior School
Oriel High School

This exhibition brings together some of the art work produced by the schools, pictures of the finished mural and some of the history of Three Bridges.

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29 September 2022 - 26 November 2022
Free admission, donations welcomed

Diverse Crawley and Crawley Campaign Against Racism return for their annual display at the museum.

Themes of the displays include white privilege,  black hair care and Windrush update.

Included in the display is a banner made by local artist. The coloured ribbons on the banner represent Crawley’s neighbourhoods and the material in between them represent when different communities and cultures first came to the area. The banner was made as a celebration of Crawley New Town’s 75th birthday.

Find out more about Diverse Crawley here 

Find out more about Crawley Campaign Against Racism here 


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4 August 2022 - 24 September 2022
Free admission, donations welcomed

Crawley Museum welcomes Crawley Arts Society back for their second exhibition with us. This year they are joined by Crawley Camera Club and Crawley Writers Circle to make this exhibition a presentation of art, photography and writing by local people.

Some of the art works are available to buy through Crawley Art Society with a portion of the money being donated to support Crawley Museums in our continued work.

Some examples of previous work by Crawley Writers Circle can be purchased from the museum shop.

You can find out more about Crawley Art Society here
You can find out more about Crawley Camera Club here
You can find out more about Crawley Writers Circle here

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View 1

2 June 2022 - 30 July 2022
Free admission, donations welcomed

Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has visited Crawley many times. This exhibition displays objects and pictures from those visits.

Alongside images and objects of some of the celebrations and memorials that the people of Crawley have had for royal coronations, weddings and funerals.

Please add your royal memories add your memories in the comments and let us know if you have any objects or photographs to contribute.



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31 March 2022 - 28 May 2022

Crawley Museum put out a call for items and stories that represent births, deaths, marriages and coming of age for you. This exhibition will show some of those items and suggestions alongside work from Murmuration Arts and The Mill Primary Academy.

Murmuration Arts present examples from their outdoor Winter Light trail for families near Crawley last December.

The Mill Primary Academy return with artwork including miniature books and poems.


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Capturing Lockdown 2020 LPK Crawley Museum (136)

3 February 2022 - 26 March 2022

LPK Learning and Woodard Photography display their photographs of people on their lockdown doorsteps and lockdown photographs.

Objects that represent lockdown from toilet rolls to symbols of working from home and beyond.

The Mill Primary academy present artwork done by pupils on their experience of lockdown.

Crawley Writers Circle display written responses to the pandemic.

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2 December 2021 - 29 January 2022

Victor Burr (1908-1993) was born in London and moved to Crawley in 1941 where he worked in agriculture at Tysons Nursery to help the war effort. In 1945 he married Elizabeth Tidy and they lived in East Park, Crawley. Encouraged by Elizabeth, Victor was a prolific painter, attending the West Sussex School of Painting and Drawing. He exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Summer exhibition in 1948 and 1951.

Today, Victor Burr is almost unknown. This exhibition displays some of the works owned by Crawley Museum alongside pieces which are on loan from a family friend, Philip Pennicott, whose parents were friends with Victor and Elizabeth when he was growing up. The exhibition would not have been possible without the generous loan of his collection and some of the insights into Victor and Elizabeth that he has given us.

We would also like to thank Crawley Art Society for kindly loaning us their display boards.

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