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Galleries & Collections

Dive into the art and stories of the river, revealed through the Museum’s galleries and vast collection.

The tales of Henley-on-Thames’ past, the journey of the sport of rowing, the personalities of the River Thames and the work of local Modern British artist John Piper are captured across 20,000 items including historic objects, books, artworks and photographs. Dive deeper to discover more about our special galleries and the fascinating stories and artefacts in them.

The River Thames

Uncover the rich wildlife on the banks of the Thames in the River Gallery. Get close to objects that reveal clues about its history from pre-historic times to today.

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Swan in the River Thames at Henley-on-thames
Women's rowing team on River Thames in Henley-on-thames


The Rowing Gallery presents the story of rowing from the enormous triremes of the Ancient Greeks to our modern Olympians and daring trans-Atlantic expeditions. Be inspired (and dwarfed) by boats of all histories set in one award-winning space.

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John Piper

Discover the UK’s only dedicated gallery to the work of celebrated Modern British artist – and Henley local – John Piper. Experience first-hand his artistic versatility; from painting and drawing to stained glass and ceramics.

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Looking through soft focus pink flowers in the immediate foreground, a street of old brick and half-timbered buildings stretches away to a flint and stone church with a blue clock face. Cars and a bus are on the street and people on the pavement, while there is red, white and blue bunting overhead against the blue sky. Wooded hills can be seen in the background.

The Town of Henley

Travel back through Henley’s history, discovering the stories and people that have shaped the town it is today in the Henley Gallery; from a 2000-year old hoard of Iron Age coins to Eva, first umpire’s launch for Henley Royal Regatta.

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The Wind in the Willows

This is a story of friendship. Kenneth Grahame’s enchanting tale of four riverbank companions is retold in theatrical 3D, with a magical soundscape in the Wind in the Willows experience.

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Mr Toad statue in rowing boat

Our Collections

Our collections are at the heart of all we do

We hold the national collection of rowing and over 35,000 items ranging from an Anglo Saxon log boat to Olympic medals, John Piper’s mixed media artwork ‘String Solo’ (1934) to Iron Age gold coins – and much more besides.

It is through our collections that we can share the rich and varied stories in our galleries, but these are the tip of the iceberg and our stores hold many other treasures that cannot all be displayed. You can explore these online below, or arrange a research visit to the Museum.

Curatorial Services



Two silver rowing trophies stand on a table, with one supported by somebody wearing white cotton gloves. There are books and archive boxes in the background.

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Lucy Pocock Sitwell Rowing

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