Folkestone Museum in Kent takes you on a journey through the history of Folkestone, from its origins as a humble coastal community, through to its heyday as a fashionable seaside resort and beyond. Located in the newly restored Town Hall, the Museum explores the history of the town through the themes of fashion, frontline, maritime, natural and ancient.
The museum itself started life in the second half of the nineteenth century, with natural history at the core of the original collection. Today, it remains an important element and visitors can see wonderful specimens of butterflies, shells and fossils of national and international significance.
Other collections tell the story of the town's development since 1844, when the railway line was extended to Folkestone Harbour and helped to create a cross-channel steam packet service to France. International travellers began to arrive and enjoyed a cliff tramway, opened in 1885, and promenade pier, opened in 1888 and where the first ever Miss World was crowned.
Folkestone also has an important military history, and more than 10 million troops, civilians and Prisoners of War passed through the town between 1914 and 1919. During the Second World War it once again became the frontline with Nazi-occupied Europe, and was occupied by Allied forces with most women and children evacuated.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, in a dedicated space located on the lower ground floor. Details of these, together with activity days and workshops for all ages, can be found on the website: www.folkestonemuseum.co.uk