As you might expect of somewhere with such a rich and varied history, Barnet has a museum, and museums don’t come much cuter than this. Located on the most scenic stretch of Wood Street, Barnet Museum offers an easily accessible account of the town’s past. It is run enthusiastically by volunteers from the Barnet Local History Society many of whom are actively involved in researching the history of the area.
Museum exhibits cover a broad range of aspects of life in Chipping Barnet, Hadley, New Barnet and the oldest settlement, East Barnet. The Battle of Barnet features strongly, but there are many exhibits relating to domestic life and the two world wars. In conjunction with the University of the Third Age, the museum has conducted a research project documenting shops in Barnet High Street back to 1898 and I particularly like the map illustrating the High Street in 1896. Fascinating.
The museum also has an extensive archive including books, press cuttings, maps, manuscripts, Kelly’s Directories and photographs making it a useful resource for researching local and family history. It’s best to contact the museum to arrange this. However, the shop stocks a broad range of interesting materials.
During the school holidays there are events for children, often including activities in the garden to the rear of the building (but please note there are no public toilets in the museum). My daughter was very happy carefully weighing out some pretend butter on old fashioned scales before wrapping it up to bring home.
Tuesday to Thursday: 2.30–4.30pm