In Guildhall Street, which opens from the High Street, is the Museum, built by subscription, and containing some collections well worth a visit. Among the local antiquities is an A. S. drinking cup of "twisted" or "pillared" glass - the "twisted ale cup" of Beowulf - such as Ethelbert may have drained in his hall, or pledged Augustine in. It was found near Reculver, and is probably unique. Remark also the remains of a sacrificial vat or bronze bucket, for mead or beer; some of the circular A.S. (or Jutish) brooches peculiar to Kent and the Isle of Wight, and other relics from Gilton and Breach Downs. In other cases are urns from Hartlip and Chartham, and a curious statuette of Latona(?) found in a Roman urn at St. Dunstan's; besides a fragment of Becket's shrine(?) There is also a remarkable collection of Greek and Etruscan vases presented by Lord Strangford. The Nat. Hist. collections are large. Remark a large British pearl found in a Whitstable oyster; fossils from Sheppey, echini, crabs, lobsters, and turtles; horns of different species of ox, from Sea Salter and Herne; mammoth bones and tusks from Herne Bay, and in the hall, some very large ammonites from Dover. An early picture of Cooper's, "Meadows on the Stour, looking towards Canterbury from Tuniford," hangs in the upper room. The windows of Flemish glass contain some interesting fragments. There is a small library below, liberally conducted. Over the fireplace is the portrait of Gostling, author of the "Walk round Canterbury" (1777). His walking-stick hangs below.

A handbook for Travellers in Kent and Sussex 1858

The Museum and Library was founded in 1826 and is open free from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Library contains over 5,000 volumes, most of which are in circulation amongst the citizens; and there is a free Reading Room well supplied with newspapers.

The Museum contains many curiosities, and includes a collection of Roman antiquities, found in the city when the streets were being excavated for drainage, and a valuable oil painting by T. Sidney Cooper esq. R.A.

The Lusington Room contains the valuable animals, birds and weapons, bequeathed by the late S.R. Lushington esq.; and also a marble bust of the late Alderman Masters, by H. Weekes esq. R.A.

From Kelly's 1882 directory of Kent

© T. Machado 2007