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During the school holidays the Museum of Richmond runs hands on workshops for families. Using a mix of real and replica historical objects from the Museum’s handling collection, our workshops provide families with a hands on experience where they learn more about the history of the local area and develop new skills by having a go at arts and craft activities.

Below you will find summaries of workshops we have done since October 2016, along with some feedback from parents who were there.

Visit our Families page to find more about upcoming family workshops and events


May 2019: Printing in Richmond: Dimbleby and Sons

In May half term, we explore the history of printing in Richmond looking at the story of the Richmond and Twickenham Times. We then had a go at making our own printing ‘stamps’ to use.

“Loved this workshop. Good mix of learning and activity.”

Easter 2019: Dig for Victory - Richmond during World War Two

During these workshops, families found out how and why the people of Richmond would ‘Dig for Victory’ during World War Two and created their your own cress head to take home.

“I think my kids have learnt about WWII and local history. They enjoyed handling and thinking about the items. from previous sessions I know that this will be talked about over the next few weeks/months.”

Easter 2019: Make Do and Mend - Richmond during World War Two

During these workshops families discovered what life was like growing up in Richmond during World War Two. They found out how people would ‘make do and mend’ and after being inspired by a WWII patchwork dress in the collection, they made their own patchwork bags. some used sticky back felt, whereas others had a go at English Paper Piecing patchwork!

“The workshops are a fantastic way to entertain the children during the school holidays and combine historical learning with hands on activities and crafts. Vicky is always great.”


February Half Term 2019 - Victorian Toys and Games

In this workshop we will be looked at how life was different in Victorian times using photos, maps and toys from the Museum’s handling collection. Children will then made their own replica Victorian toys to take home, including some optical illusions, a kaleidoscope and a spinning top!

“The children had two hours of wonderful screen free, interactive activity. They were engaged, asked questions, showed their own interpretations. Win – win!”

October 2018: Ghosts of Richmond Palace

During the half term week, participants were taken on a guided tour around the remains of the palace and told the stories about the lives and deaths of Anne of Bohemia, Henry VII and Elizabeth I. Once we returned to the Museum, we made our own haunted palaces!

“Vicky is fantastic. Loads of knowledge and the activities are always beautifully thought out and prepped. Thank you.”

Summer 2018: Viking Runes

In this workshop we looked at how the Viking raids and later settlements changed, and didn’t change, life in Anglo Saxon Richmond, looking at objects the Anglo Saxons have left behind.

We then looked at how the Vikings and Anglo Saxons used runes and had a go at writing in runes and creating a piece of Viking inspired art. 

“The workshop was very well designed. Victoria broke down the facts very well for the children. The facts shared were all connected so will be remembered. The session was interactive, involving and good fun. The two hours flew by!”

Summer 2018: Ancient Art and Archaeology Summer School

During this week long course looking at art and craft in Britain before the Norman conquest of 1066, students developed new skills, learnt more about the history of Richmond, and eartn a Bronze Arts Award  – a Level 1 qualification (equivalent to a GCSE – grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G) from Trinity College, London

Activities included:

  • Looking at how archaeologists work and how archaeology helps us piece together the stories of the past
  • Looking at pre-historical crafts including Stone Age Jewellery, Bronze Age Beakers, Roman Mosaics, Anglo Saxon braiding and embroidery and Viking Runes.
  • Curating an exhibition of their work which will remain on display at the Museum for the duration of the Archaeology exhibition.

“I have enjoyed learning about the history of Richmond. i find it very interesting to learn about where I live.”

Summer Holidays 2018: Anglo Saxon Braiding and Weaving

This week we looked at the Anglo Saxon origins of Richmond, how we know what life was like back then thanks to written sources as well as objects they left behind. we also explored how the Anglo Saxons became famous for their textiles, and had a go at making an Anglo Saxon braid and weaving a piece of fabric using ribbons and wool.

“Enjoyable learning experience with my daughter. Great to learn some new historical information that we can talk about together and make things to take home to show others”

Summer Holidays 2018: Roman Mosaics

For the first week of workshops of the summer holidays, we looked at what life was like in Roman times. we looked at what they ate, how they washed and how they decorated their homes.

The children then got to design and make their own mosaics, using real stone tiles and grout.

“Fun activity with my daughter during the school holidays, great to have an opportunity to learn in a fun, interactive way and do something creative that can be taken home.”

May Half Term 2018: Archaeology - A Murder Mystery!

During these workshops, children and adults took part in an archaeological murder mystery with Vicky, our Learning Officer. They excavated objects, recorded their finds and pieced together clues which helped us to work out the story of the ‘newly discovered skeleton’.

These additional family workshops were made possible thanks to the legacy left by Vivien van Straubenzee.

“[my children now have] a greater understanding of archaeology, its terms and techniques. Very good it was connected to the local area – excellent!”

Easter 2018: Bronze Age Beakers

Continuing on from the Stone Age,  children and adults learnt about how technology advanced in the Bronze Age and made their own Bronze Age Beakers, based on replicas which were purchased by the Museum thanks to the legacy left by Vivien van Straubenzee.

“The kids have had an educational and fun morning learning about the Bronze Age as well as enjoying the craft activity.”

Easter 2018: Stone Age Jewellery

During this week of workshops, children and adults discovered how Stone Age man was resourceful and creative, and made beautiful jewellery from natural resources.

These workshops were made possible thanks to the legacy left by Museum Friend, Vivien van Straubenzee, which enabled us to invest in Stone Age objects for the handling collection. 

“My daughter has learnt about the stone age and how they made tools and jewellery – and so have I!”

February Half Term 2018: Victorian Decoupage

During the half term break, families discovered how Richmond has changed since Victorian times by comparing Victorian photos with how the town looks today on a short walking tour.

Back at the Museum, they made their own origami boxes with lids, and decorated them with decoupage, a new hobby in Victorian times which made the most of the new developments in colour printing.

“We (I and my child) learnt about the history, traditions of Victorian Richmond. The workshop was very educational – we learnt how the area looked in Victorian times and the buildings and architecture. Thank you!!!”

Christmas 2017: Victorian Christmas

During this week, families discovered how the  Victorians re-invented the festive season, had a go at playing Victorian parlour games and made some delightful Victorian Christmas Crafts, including paper decorations, cracker gift boxes, cards and horn of plenty decorations for sweets!

“My children learned about where our Christmas traditions come from. Good mix of well presented information and fun activities.”


October Half Term 2017: Poverty in Victorian Richmond

During October Half Term, families discovered what life was like for the poor of Richmond in Victorian times, using objects from the handling collection, period photographs and of course, the Poverty exhibition. They also learnt a new skill and created their own hessian rag rugs to take home.

“My granddaughter has gained more insight into Victorian times and what poverty really means. Excellent presentation – well suited to age group. Handling artefacts great for making children realise how times have changed!”

Summer 2017: Arts Award Summer School

For the first time this summer, the Museum ran summer schools for teenagers aged 11 to 16. Over four days, 6 students explored the Old Palace Lane exhibition at the Museum and discovered more about medieval arts and crafts. Their work was displayed at the Museum as a mini exhibition which they will curated, until the close of the Old Palace Lane exhibition on 16 September 2017. Their work throughout the week has earned them Bronze Arts Award which is equivalent to a GCSE!

Activities included:

  • Discovering what the arts are and what an artist is
  • Visiting Old Palace Lane exhibition and the remains of Richmond Palace
  • Looking at medieval crafts, including stained and painted glass windows, the King’s Beasts, Blackwork sewing patterns
  • Creating unique art works inspired by what they have learnt for the exhibition

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. We were sent off to do our own thing which completely separated it from school. Vicky was lovely and so was the atmosphere and people. I would recommend this for anyone with even the smallest creative streak”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Victorians

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the final week, we looked at the Victorian residents of the Lane, using the census returns to discover the names and professions of those living in the lane in 1851. Inspired by Sarah Hart, the straw bonnet maker who lived at 14 Old Palace Lane (formerly 12 Bath Buildings) we had a go at straw plaiting and making corn dollies using paper straws.

“Vicky is very good at what she does! Her knowledge is vast. My daughters…are very impressed with Vicky’s knowledge of history. Please keep these workshops going.”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Georgians

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the second week, we looked at how the Lane was developed by the Georgians, with the building of Asgill House, the Bath Cottages and the Theatre. When we got back to the Museum, we made our own mini puppet theatres and puppets inspired by the stories of Edmund Kean and Dorothy Jordan.

“Very interesting to learn about local history and boys enjoyed making puppets etc.”

Summer Holidays 2017: Old Palace Lane - The Tudors

Over the summer holidays we ran three weeks of workshops which help families to explore the Old Palace Lane exhibition, each week focusing on a different time period.

In the first week, we explored the Tudor period, and had a walking tour of the remains of Palace built by Henry VII, followed by making medieval braids from around the world back at the Museum.

“Very good workshop – lovely walk around the Old Palace, lots of interesting information and the braiding was great fun! Thank you.”

May Half Term 2017: Henry VII’s Richmond

During May half term, families discovered what life was like in Henry VII’s new Richmond Palace by interacting with objects from the Museum’s handling collection and displays.

Using the stained and painted glass window from the Palace on display at the Museum as inspiration, they then made their own ‘stained glass’ window decorations to brighten up their windows at home.

“Very interesting and engaging talk about Henry VII. It was great that the children got to hold all the objects. The ‘stained glass’ windows are beautiful!”

Easter 2017: Royal Star and Garter Crafts

In the second week of the Easter holidays families then explored the arts and crafts done by the residents of the Royal Star & Garter. 

Adults and children alike had a go at basket weaving, feather flower making and creating their own embroidery designs.

“We had a fantastic time. Loved the arts and crafts and learnt about our local area.”

Easter 2017: Easter Eggs

During the first week of the Easter holidays, families explored why we decorate eggs at Easter.

Using some of the beautifully decorated eggs from the Museum’s collections as inspiration, they then created their own unique Easter decorations to take home.

“Really enjoy the balance of learning and practical – the children seem to enjoy it too! Vicky is great – knowledgeable, fun and encouraging.”

February 2017: The Royal Star and Garter

As part of the Royal Star & Garter exhibition, we ran a week of workshops looking at the lives of the residents and their stories. In this workshop, we looked at Private Joseph W. Richards.

Richards was a particular example of how residents could overcome their disabilities, after being paralysed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 he used to paint by holding the paint brush between his teeth. In an interview reprinted in the Star and Garter Magazine Richards was quoted saying; “I thought I might be able to paint, and I practised. But I didn’t half use a lot of brushes. I kept biting them in two.”

We all had a go at painting like Richards did, by holding the paintbrushes in our mouths! As inspiration, we used Richard’s illustration “The Mad Hatter” as an outline.

Christmas 2016: Princess Mary Gift Boxes

Did you know that during the First World War, Princess Mary organised a massive collection to ensure that every soldier at the front and sailor at sea, was given a present from the Nation to say thank you for their service and having to spent Christmas away from their families?

In this workshop we explored Princess Mary’s story and what gifts were contained in the tins. We then made and decorated our own origami gift boxes. 

‘A super workshop this morning. Much enjoyed by all of us. Thanks so much Vicky.’

October 2016: Ghosts of Richmond Palace

In these workshops we explored the ghost stories behind the royal occupants of Richmond Palace.

We then made our own haunted palaces to take home, with ghosts and ghouls lurking behind many doors and windows!

“My daughter loves arts and crafts…linking in with the historical aspect of the theme and respective areas of the museum is also useful and engaging.” 



You can now visit the Museum without booking!

Whilst we are excited to welcome you, there are measures in place to ensure your visit is as safe as possible.

Click here to find our more about what to expect during your visit and how we are ensuring your visit is as safe as possible

UPDATE: The lift to the Museum is currently out of order and Richmond Council are working as fast as they can to get it repaired. This means visitors will need to climb two flights of stairs to get to the Museum – we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


Using  objects from the Museum’s handling collection, learn more about the history of the local area and have a go at arts and craft activities!


We are open – no need to book!

Tuesday to Friday: 11am to 5pm
Saturday: 11am to 4pm

Find us
2nd Floor, Old Town Hall, Whittaker
Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP

UPDATE: The lift to the Museum is currently out of order and Richmond Council are working as fast as they can to get it repaired. This means visitors will need to climb two flights of stairs to get to the Museum – we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.