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Powell-Cotton Museum

Where the past meets the present to change the future


"Where the past meets the present to change the future" - Will Travers, OBE, President of Born Free Foundation

Welcome to one of the UK’s most fascinating visitor attractions. 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 in Birchington, East Kent. Quex Park is home to the Powell-Cotton Museum and the Powell-Cotton family’s extraordinary collection of natural history, ethnography and fine and decorative arts. Quex House, the Powell-Cotton family home, invites you into the lives of this remarkable family. You can also step back into the world of Victorian horticulture by exploring the beautiful gardens.

The 15th-century Quex Estate was purchased by the financier John Powell (1721-1783) in 1777. His nephew, John Powell Powell (1769-1849), later demolished the old mansion and rebuilt it in the Regency style in 1813. The house was later remodelled and extended in the late 19th century. The beautiful 15 acre gardens to be seen today were developed in Victorian times.

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

Percy Powell-Cotton was a pioneer in the use of the diorama to display mounted animals against backdrops of their natural habitats. The Powell-Cotton Museum’s natural history 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 and the world-class natural history and ethnographical collections continue to 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 museum contain Asian weaponry, a range of ceramics, jade and ivory from Europe, China and Japan, assembled by six generations of the Powell-Cotton family. In the summer season during the afternoons, several of the public rooms in Quex House are open to the public as well. 

Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs are welcome in 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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