Please note, the Piper Gallery will be closed between the 27th Nov and 7th December for essential maintenance works. Explore our website to discover John Piper while the gallery is temporarily closed. Discover John Piper

The Museum Story


One of the UK’s leading independent Museums, the River & Rowing Museum has over 114,000 visitors a year.

The Museum opened in 1998 to celebrate the River, the international sport of Rowing and the town of Henley on Thames.
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Our Galleries

The Museum opened with three permanent galleries, covering the core themes of the River Thames, the international sport of rowing, and the history of Henley on Thames.

From 2004 a fourth permanent gallery, the enormously popular Wind in the Willows exhibition, was added. In 2017, following a successful crowdfunding campaign in partnership with the Art Fund, the John Piper gallery was opened, celebrating the life and work of this internationally renowned artist. Working closely with organisations in the local area, the Museum also regularly updates displays in our Community Gallery which showcases a wide variety of local projects.

Explore the Galleries

A man and a woman are looking at artworks on the wall in the Piper Gallery. A yellow and grey artwork beside them is reflected in the glass of other artworks.

Our boathouse

Situated alongside the river in Henley on Thames, the building, designed by the acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield, was designated Royal Fine Arts Commission Building of the Year in 1999.

The oak, glass and steel design combines the influence of local boathouses and Oxfordshire barns with a strong modernist approach and was described by him as a ‘resolution between convention and invention’.

A space for families

Twice shortlisted for Family Friendly Museum of the Year, the Museum is a registered educational charity.

Running a lively programme of temporary and visiting exhibitions, the Museum works with partners such as the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A and the Hayward Gallery in London. The Museum offers a broad calendar of activities including lectures, children’s workshops and family events. Over 20,000 children and adults are welcomed every year to take part in a variety of fun and inspiring learning events and workshops.

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