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Museums and Heritage Centres

Ashford has a number of museums, heritage centres and archives. These are used to preserve and promote the borough’s rich history and heritage. The links below provide more information about each site.

Ashford Borough Museum

The museum is located in the Church Yard in the town centre. It has displays that cover the town’s history. This includes lost businesses, archaeological finds, smuggling, the part Ashford played in both World Wars and railway memorabilia.

The museum celebrated its 30th birthday in 2019. To celebrate, a new exhibition on Ashford's Victorian police force. This includes a real life prison cell – the perfect size for misbehaving children!Railway exhibit at Ashford Museum

Agricultural Museum

The Agricultural Museum is located in the village of Brook. Housed in period buildings, you can find a collection of items linked to the agricultural history of Kent.

The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum

The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum is located in Tenterden. It records the life and work of Holman Fred Stephens who was a light railway promoter, engineer and manager.

Pluckley Heritage Centre

This Pluckley Heritage Centre is a Heritage Lottery funded project. It is located at the back of St Nicholas’ Church, Pluckley. Take a step inside to learn about the history of the church and the people who have lived here over the last few hundred years.

Smarden Heritage Centre

The Smarden Heritage Centre is located at The Charter Hall, Smarden. It forms part of the Smarden Local History Society. It contains original and digital historical material around the village's history, its society and architecture.

Tenterden and District Museum

The Tenterden and District Museum shows the history of the town and the Cinque Ports. It highlights the rich history of the area.

Willesborough Windmill

Willesborough Windmill is one of the largest smock mills that is still active in the south of England. Take a visit to see how wheat is ground to make flour.

The windmill celebrated its 150th birthday in 2019. This was marked by a series of special events. Visit their website below for more information.

There is also a commemorative floral tribute in Ashford's Memorial Gardens.

Woodchurch Village Life Museum

The Woodchurch Village Life Museum is located in Woodchurch. it is housed in an 18th century barn and 17th century shed.

Woodchurch Windmill

Woodchurch Windmill has recently been restored to working order. It is a great example of a Kentish smock mill.

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