Explore The Beaney

Get closer to The Beaney and immerse yourself in history, heritage, art and culture.

  • A lady looking at painting hanging in People and Places Gallery.
  • A mummified cat in a cabinet.
  • Paintings on the wall in People and Places Gallery.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is a Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury.

Whether you are a frequent Library user, a teacher on a Schools Workshop or an inquisitive explorer studying our treasures from the Ancient worlds; The Beaney is a building for everyone.

Enjoy exploring The Beaney online and we hope to welcome you to The Beaney soon.

Explore by Room

The Garden Room

The Garden Room is dedicated to the work of prominent Canterbury-born artist Thomas Sidney Cooper (1803 – 1902) and...

Colour and Camouflage

Situated between The Smallfilms Gallery and The Study, Colour and Camouflage showcases a selection of animals, birds,...

People and Places

An exceptional collection of paintings and objects highlighting notable People and Places in the Canterbury area. From legendary...

Explorers and Collectors

A fascinating and unique collection of collections brought back from travels across Asia, Africa, India and South...

Materials and Masters

For thousands of years artists and craftspeople have taken inspiration from the world around them, creatively transforming raw...

Special Exhibitions Room

Our programming team manages a diverse and balanced programme of Special Exhibitions which complement The Beaney’s permanent...

The Smallfilms Gallery

A temporary gallery space celebrating work by the Award winning Smallfilms duo - Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. See old...

The Study

Early collectors were often amateurs who wanted to learn about the world by looking more closely at things. This thirst for...

Learning Lab

With stunning views overlooking the rooftops of Canterbury, our Learning Lab is a modern and vibrant space used for artist-led...

The Library

Find out more about Canterbury Library, part of a large network of public libraries managed by Kent County...

Visitor Information

Our friendly and dedicated staff can provide a wealth of information, ensuring your visit to Canterbury is a memorable...


The museums Collections online has been redeveloped, making it much easier to search to find what you want. Use the search function to discover objects and topics you are interested in, and to learn more about the past.

Discover our ancient Egyptian mummified cat, the original Bagpuss, artworks from legendary Anthony Van Dyke, to Pop Artist David Hockney, and much more.

Found in Milton Quarry, Canterbury in 1988, these skull fragments are from aurochs – an... Read more
This toy bear belonged to Jennifer Baker and was her companion when she was evacuated from... Read more
A hooded crow from our Natural History Collection that now forms part of the new ‘Art,... Read more
This specimen was a much-loved pet for forty years and was given to the museum after it died by its... Read more
These two furry friends have moved from their old residence in The Study to our new ‘Art,... Read more
Found isolated and alone in the Kentish soil, and now residing in The Beaney is a creature so... Read more
The tale of Rupert Bear begins with the story of the Caldwell Family. The Caldwell’s were a... Read more
Created by BAFTA award-winning Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate through their company Smallfilms,... Read more
The news of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s murder in 1170 spread with ferocity. Shortly after his... Read more
Dating from about 850 AD, The Canterbury Cross has acquired widespread fame as a symbol of the... Read more
Known as the Venus Flower Basket, this artefact is actually the skeleton of a deep ocean sponge. It... Read more
There is a simple yet sad tale of how The Beaney came to acquire a rook dressed quite curiously in... Read more
This Owl Butterfly on display is commonly known as the Brazilian Little Owl. It is a South American... Read more
Displayed in the gallery are two types of Gold – but could you tell the difference between... Read more
The last of Thomas Sidney Cooper’s works, Sheep in the Snow was left unfinished on the easel. If... Read more
Described as the legendary “unicorn of the sea”, this narwhal tusk was given to Reverend... Read more
Befitting the ethos of the Cabinet, this Chinese Pangolin is indeed an unusual treat for the eyes... Read more
Given to Francis Crow (1755-1835), a local clockmaker, inventor and geologist from Faversham, by... Read more
One of the gallery’s great collections was bought to us by a man named Stephen... Read more
In Ancient Egypt Mummification was not limited to humans. From snakes and beetles to hippos and... Read more

Filters and Search

Collections and Image Enquiries

Canterbury Museums & Galleries can answer your questions about items in our collection and facilitate access to stored collections for researchers.

We can aso supply images of items in our collections for personal or commercial use upon request. You can also purchase unframed prints for a number of our painting via ART UK’s online shop.

More information on Collections and Image Enquiries 


Ethical Object Disposal

Between 2011 and 2017 collections staff conducted a series of Collections Reviews which revealed that there were some items that it would be beneficial to dispose of.

More Information on Ethical Object Disposal.

Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

Get closer to The Beaney and immerse yourself in history, heritage, art and culture