Brent Museum is based in The Library at Willesden Green, and has been collecting material about the history of the borough for over 50 years. Originally named the Grange Museum and based on Neasden Roundabout, the collection now has over 10,000 objects.
We have items which are thousands of years old but we also collect from the people living and working in Brent today so that our collection represent all communities, past and present.
The founding collection of Brent Museum was left to the borough in 1937 by the Victorian antiquarian, George Titus Barham. From a suit of armour to an ancient Egyptian make-up set, Titus Barham owned a lot of unusual things. Like many wealthy people, he built up a collection - but we don't know quite why he chose what he did. He once said "I am not a connoisseur, but I know what I like."
Titus's fortune came from running Express Dairies, which his father had founded. He used his wealth to buy items that interested him at auctions in London, displaying his collection in a private museum at his home in Wembley. He had no children, and when he died he gave his property and collection to the local council.
The museum collection has continued to grow, reflecting working and domestic life in Brent from about 1850 to the present day, broadly comprising of artefacts, video and oral history recordings Over 400 objects from the museum collection can be viewed in Brent Museum’s permanent gallery in Willesden Green. The gallery tells the story of Brent from prehistory all the way through to the present day.
Visitors can find out about an Eiffel tower in Wembley, why you might make a pilgrimage to Willesden and what the Victorian streets of Brent were really like. We want Brent Museum and Archives to help you dig deeper into your own history. Since our first museum opened in 1977, its primary aim has been to showcase and make accessible the local history and heritage of Brent’s community.
The Heritage team produce a number of free temporary exhibitions every year at The Library at Willesden Green. These exhibitions often feature newly acquired objects, objects which have been in storage for decades and loaned objects from other museums. We run an exciting events program linked to the permanent museum and our temporary exhibitions to make our collections as accessible as possible.