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Maidstone Museum’s new gallery will look back 600,000 years

It’s a huge project – telling the story of how people lived in the area over a vast time span of 600,000 years.

But that is the aim of a new archaeology gallery planned to open at Maidstone Museum next summer.

An artist's impression of how the new gallery at Maidstone Museum will look
An artist's impression of how the new gallery at Maidstone Museum will look

The family-friendly space will be called “Lives in our Landscape” and will include objects made by the earliest type of humans hunting animals with stone tools in a forested landscape, right up to the medieval period, when Maidstone became a bustling market town.

Hands-on activities are being created, with objects to hold and costumes to try on.

An interactive touchscreen map will enable visitors to explore what has been unearthed in the borough of Maidstone.

Cllr Claudine Russell, the cabinet member for communities, leisure and arts, said: “This is very exciting news for Maidstone Museum which is already home to thousands of incredible artefacts, which bring history to life.

“We hope the new gallery will inspire an interest in archaeology in both adults and children, and help us all to understand the early history of Maidstone and our important place in the world.”

Maidstone Museum: plans for a new gallery
Maidstone Museum: plans for a new gallery

Paul Oldham from The William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust, which kicked off the project with a £100,000 donation, said: “Maidstone Museum needs new displays to attract visitors.

“Working together we can present a wonderful collection of objects for public education and enjoyment.”

Mike Evans from the Maidstone Museum Foundation (MMF) said: “The gallery will appeal to all ages, but particularly young people through its eye-catching and interactive displays.”

The new gallery is costing £589,000, with the MMF also chipping in with 100k and Maidstone council providing the rest.

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