The exterior of Hove Museum, originally called Brooker Hall, and architecturally made to copy Queen Victoria's summer home.
United Kingdom
South East England
East Sussex
United Kingdom
South East England
East Sussex

Hove Museum & Art Gallery

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Hove Museum and Art Gallery is found in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, as part of the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton and Hove, which exhibits local history and crafts across time for free.
  • Explore the Wizard's Attic and the broken toys he fixes.
  • See the history of film flash in front of you.
  • Discover the new exhibitions that the museum-art gallery is putting on.

Hove Museum and Art Gallery, or Brighton and Hove Museum-Art Gallery, is a free, family-friendly home of local history and craft. It was opened in 1927 inside a late 19th-century villa originally known as Brooker Hall. Brooker Hall was constructed in 1877 by the architect Thomas Lainson for Major John Vallance and was made to imitate the style made famous by Queen Victoria's summer home in the Isle of Wight. It's perfect for kids thanks to its fascinating family-friendly exhibitions, so it is a must-do for families.

The art museum was built in the 1870's. It was named Brooker Hall after John Oliver Vallance's father, whose middle name was Brooker. Vallance lived in the house with his wife, five children, and several servants. After Vallance died, his wife lived in the villa until 1913. The building was used to house prisoners of war during World War I, before opening as a museum-art gallery in 1927. The Hove Art Gallery and Museum had a significant refurbishment in 2003, becoming one of the most family-friendly and accessible museums in the South East. The museum is built upon the art and work of the local community, and this is reflected throughout its exhibitions.

Before entering Hove Museum and Art Gallery, visitors will be greeted with the Jaipur Gate. It was commissioned for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886, which was opened by Queen Victoria and attracted 5.5 million visitors. It marked the entrance to the Rajputana (now Rajasthan) section of the exhibition, paid for by the Maharaja. The inscription on the front reads in English, Sanskrit and Latin, ‘where virtue is, there is victory’. It was donated to the Hove Museum in 1926. When the Maharaja of Jaipur visited Hove in 1986 for Hove's India Independence celebrations, it formed the beautiful backdrop to the visit.

Hove Museum and Art Gallery is most loved for its fascinating exhibitions. What’s in the Box? is a regularly changing display, usually showing objects from the Royal Pavilion & Museums stores. Previously, it has showcased a Napoleonic chess set, a souvenir plate from the Co-operative Supply Depot c.1873, and other gorgeous pieces.

The Wizard's Attic is the home of a wizard and his team of mice who help to fix broken toys. There are toys dating back as early as the 1740s, but some of the toys are from more recognisable brands for today's kids, like Barbie and Star Wars. The gallery is split between the 1890's and the 2000's, decorated like a child's bedroom. You'll be able to see pieces like the Pierotti portrait dolls of the Royal family from early 1900s', dolls houses from different eras, Bébé Jumeau dolls, as well as clockwork dolls. You can find Lego and Meccano, as well as early German construction toys. There are educational toys from the Victorian era. This gallery will feel like you've stepped into a truly magical place.

If your kids are budding filmmakers, they'll love the film exhibitions at Hove Museum and Art Gallery. Catch a Shadow depicts how film evolved from photography and toys to projection and eventually to what we have on the screens today. The Pioneers Gallery shows the lives and stories made by the Brighton School of Film-makers, and the impact they had on the international development of film. Find magic lanterns, seats from cinemas throughout the ages, The Barnes Collection of production pieces and more.

Hove History will introduce children from all over England to the area's history, from prehistoric times to the present. Hove developed from small communities before becoming the Hove of today. Rolling green fields originally divided Hove and Brighton before they became the city in 2001. This exhibition will explore all of this, including fascinating pieces from across time. If you want to learn more about the local history of the area both Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey and Battlefield should give you a flavour of times gone by.

Hove Museum and Art Gallery also includes contemporary crafting exhibitions. The Craft Gallery displays ceramics by Kate Malone, textiles by Alice Kettle, and jewellery by Stephen Bottomley and Cynthia Cousins as well as much more. There is also an interactive section, where children can play with some of the pieces. There are two films which will show some of the processes that go on.

Hove Museum and Art Gallery also puts on exhibitions for the final year students on the Fine Art Painting and Fine Art Printmaking courses at the University of Brighton, allowing the local community to discover more information about fine art, printmaking, and other artistic practices. There have also been short-term exhibitions at the gallery, such as Cultural Icons: Remaking a Popular Pottery Tradition. This exhibition at the Hove Museum focused on the creation of pottery based on icons like celebrities, actors, royalty, politicians and more. They sat alongside other pieces of art like original Victorian portrait figures, and analytical drawings of historical flat-backs by John Hewitt. A follow-up museum art exhibition has been Cultural Icons of the Brighton & Hove Emmaus community. Emmaus helps people to work their way out of homelessness, so this charity exhibition supports their work, as local art enthusiasts made contemporary flat-back figures and shared their stories.

What to know before you go

  • The Hove Museum opening times are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, 2pm to 5pm. The museum is closed on Wednesdays, and on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of December.
  • Lift access is available for wheelchairs to get to the second floor.
  • Public toilets are located on the ground floor, including an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities.
  • There is currently no café or catering at the museum.

Getting there

  • London to Brighton and Hove in East Sussex is 60 miles and takes around one and a half hours.
  • Hove Museum-Art Gallery is a 15-20 minute walk from Hove Station.
  • There are lots of buses you can get from the city centre, Buses 1, 1A, 6, 49 and 49A stop near the entrance to Hove Museum-Art Gallery, taking approximately 20 minutes.
  • There are no on-site parking facilities at Hove Museum-Art Gallery except for disabled guests who can park on-site for free, and there is limited parking around the museum.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines


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