Uffington’s Old Schoolroom was built in 1617. John Little, who lived in the village, developed the idea of setting up the Museum there and he opened it in 1984. All the exhibits acquired since then have been donated, mostly by residents of the villages of Uffington, Woolstone and Baulking who are keen to have the history of the area preserved. On John Little’s death in 1986, his widow Joan donated his collection of 136 different editions of “Tom Brown’s School Days” to the Museum.
Hugh Shorten took over as Curator and continued until 1993.
Sharon Smith was our Curator from 1994 to 2015. In co-operation with Jane Cooper, then chair of our Friends organisation, Sharon managed many projects to discover, commemorate and record aspects of our history and made the Museum much more widely known.
Karen Pilcher, our present Curator, took charge in 2016.
Past Museum projects include:
- in 1995, the creation of the Uffington Parish Trail
- in 2000, a Millennium Survey of the village and celebrations on White Horse Hill
- in 2002, a professional archaeological dig on the outskirts of the village
- in 2003/4, a book about the relationship between the White Horse and Uffington
- in 2012/13, research and publication of a book telling the story of the Uffington Enclosure Award of 1778
- in 2013/4, the collection of census, war service and photographic material on the people of Uffington who served in the 1914-18 war
- In 2018/19, our latest project, to restore this 400 year old building to a proper state of repair was completed (in March 2019). We are very grateful to the many individuals and organisations who have contributed to the funding, including the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
We have also produced and published a number of booklets and guides, which are on sale in the Museum. A large number of old photographs and documents are in our collection. They have been catalogued and are available to researchers.
Our role today
Today we explain the history of the Uffington area but we also provide a focus for collecting and conserving local information and are a resource for local studies. The Museum is in an old building but is fully in the digital age – we have video displays and interactive computer presentations for our visitors to use. Local schools use our resources and we work with the National Trust and other organisations to arrange and publicise local events.
We were granted full Accreditation Status by the Museum and Libraries Association in 2008 and we are now fully accredited by Arts Council England and comply with all their criteria for good governance.
We look forward to your visit!
If you live in the Uffington area why not join our Friends organisation and get involved? You will receive a warm welcome and there are many different ways in which you can help the Museum.