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Powell-Cotton Museum

Where the past meets the present to change the future


Welcome to one of the UK's most fascinating visitor attractions, the home of the Powell-Cotton family and their extraordinary collection of natural history museum treasures. 

Whether you are looking for a family day out or a quiet stroll in beautiful surroundings, we look forward to welcoming you to Quex Park, Kent's natural history museum, Birchington in South East Kent. 

"An exquisite, high class endeavour, unique in its quality, value and sense of the essentials of the period it covers.  A national - and wider - treasure."

The Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park was established in 1896 by Major Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton (1866-1940) to house natural history museum specimens and cultural objects collected on expeditions to Asia and Africa.

Major Powell-Cotton was a pioneer in the use of the diorama to display mounted mammals in representations of their natural habitats. The Powell-Cotton Museum natural history museum dioramas are outstanding examples, unique to the UK, stunning for their size, quality and imagery. Today they still excite the imagination of young and old alike.

The world-class natural history museum, and ethnographical collections, support the study, understanding and simple enjoyment of the zoological, cultural and ecological diversity of Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

Further galleries in the natural history museum contain local archaeology as well as textiles, weaponry and a range of ceramics, jade and ivory from Europe, China and Japan assembled by six generations of the Powell-Cotton family.  In the afternoons several rooms in Quex House are open.

"A lovely days outing with so much diversity in the museum, house and gardens"

The 15th-century Quex Estate was purchased by the financier John Powell in 1777 and the Regency period Quex House was completed by his nephew in 1813. The house was remodelled and extended in the late 19th century.  The beautiful 15 acre gardens to be seen today were developed in Victorian times.

"A great time, what a lovely place to have a W.I. picnic.  It was wonderful.  I shall be back with my family. "

"So much to see, we will return to take it all in.  Gardens fab - serene - inspiring.  Cultural exhibits make one think!!  Friendly, helpful staff - thank you." 

Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs ONLY will be admitted to the Museum, House and Gardens.  We are sorry but no other dogs can be permitted on the premises. 

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Photographs and 360 tours: Nikhilesh Havel


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