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“Fasinating”

Stratford Armouries Museum
Attraction details
Wellesbourne Hastings, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fasinating”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We took our 9yr old grandson, who's fanatical about all thing military,he realy enjoyed himself, the guide was very knowlegable about all the displays, and my grandson wa even allowed to handle some of the objects which made his day.
Well worth a trip.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank SueSusanG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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57 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Hmmmmm, sadly a bit disappointing if I were honest.”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

The day didn't start well as when we got to stratford outskirts we found that the village location does not appear in our conventional road atlas perhaps more luck with a sat-nav. I think it is misleading to be described as stratford armouries and would be better named as armouries near stratford. Lots of gravelled parking in what at first sight/impression was an industrial trading estate up a very small road. Anyway, after parking I followed what I had read to be the entry signs only to find I had walked thro the exit door. We didn't spend long at the museum as I was not enthused by the prospect of trying to unravel what was actually being exhibited. Some exhibits were labelled and many were not. An impressive array of items which I gather are basically the summation of a private collection. Regrettably, I like a bit of order and explanation rather than a mish mash of items from different eras. I had read other reviews prior to our visit and know that the curator understandably defends the approach the museum has taken. I think it is important to show belief in your product but for me the place, as is, doesn't work and I would have preferred far fewer exhibits with more background information and explanation. Preferences are personal and that is why I have accepted others may think differently and consequently it would be wrong of me to give a more negative rating than average. I suspect much use has been made of voluntary input and this should be credited. Difficult to say how long a visit should take, depends on the individual and their level of interest. Quite a frustrating experience for me all in all lasting less than an hour but at least having found the place I knew the way home. On the way home I did reflect on a previous reviewers comment about not understanding why lots of horns and antlers were put on a large table in the museum. Concluded I didn't know, perhaps a suitable starting place for some labels and descriptions.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James W, Owner at Stratford Armouries Museum, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Hello, we are sorry to hear you felt disappointed with your visit to Stratford Armouries museum. It is a pity you did not speak to us during your visit. Our head guide and historian would have happily talked you through any concerns. O

Out of 974 comments in our visitors book, 969 have been positive. We quote: " amazing, fascinating and can't wait to return". This is the overall feeling from our customers, so we are sorry you felt differently. All opinions are, of course, are subjective.

You suggest that we may be volunteers. The Stratford Armouries museum collection dates back to 1748 and we are one of the most experienced researcher and interpreter of arms and armour in the country. In addition, the Wigington family have written a wide range of academic and specialist material on the subject - especially relating to weaponry (for example: Tipu Sultan). Furthermore, our head guide and historian Julian Spilsbury is the author of numerous books on the history of warfare and is continually travelling through international war zones to further all research. Hopefully this confirms our position.

We regret that you had difficulty finding us. For those without a sat nav - our location is clearly listed on our website. We are just off the main A46 and A34 (depending on which way you come in) and there are large, brown signs at both of these junctions. We are a Stratford-Upon-Avon postcode and to suggest that we call ourselves 'The Armouries near Stratford' would not be appropriate.

You mention your experience of entering The Armouries. Here you found: Leonardo da Vinci's giant crossbow, the worlds largest trebuchet and a completely unique battery of 32 pounder 'Walker and Co cannon; In addition you viewed a very rare Irish twelve pounder canon, a pair of carronade, A tudor cannon, and a rare breech loading gun - all of these artefacts were there as you entered the Stratford Armouries site. The museum itself is constructed to a high architectural specification, all carefully selected materials to blend in with the rural setting in which we reside.

Artefacts from the Wellington Aviation museum, formerly in Moreton in Marsh, can also be found outside - to make this a totally unique destination for visitors to Stratford-Upon-Avon. To the rear of the property is a very rare twin barrel 'AA' gun on carriage, an experimental gun, a rare Russian field gun - all of which you can sit next to, on our purpose built decking with refreshments - whilst overlooking the rolling Warwickshire countryside.

Please feel free to return for a personal guided tour by head guide: Julian Spilsbury. We feel sure that you will completely appreciate the hard work, passion and dedication that has been put into this museum, day after day, for nearly seven years. Please call James Wigington, Curator, to personally discuss your reservations and book this tour.

In friendship.......
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A Little Gem hidden in the Warwickshire Countryside”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

What a very interesting museum which we found quite by accident. The museum is very hands on with both children and adults encouraged to use artifacts. A new Churchill room was in process of being completed and is due to open very shortly. There are plenty of cannons, guns, costumes from various centuries and many miniature military figures plus loads of photographs, all extremely interesting. The only criticism is a lack of labelling which would have increased our enjoyment of the experience. The staff are extremely approachable and knowledgeable.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Perfect for children and adults - hands on, fun and fascinating!!”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

We visited the stratford armouries museum today and discovered something very rare these days - staff who truly loved what they do, who were happy to open every single cabinet, get out every exhibit and allow my 9 year old to fire a cannon, play with rifles and generally touch and handle any exhibit he wanted to. Julian, the museum military historian and John an expert on weaponry of all eras freely dispensed their knowledge, were a great duo and ensured that my son had the best day out this year!'

They have a stunning collection of arms from all ages, imaginatively and quirkily displayed. Among the most interesting exhibits is a dagger belonging to TE Lawrence (which they were happy to get out and let us hold), swords of all ages sizes and descriptions, again freely available for children and adults to handle and play with, plus plenty of guns, an impressive Churchill exhibit and best of all, a mini cannon which they allowed the visitors to fire themselves.

It's fun, quirky and made very, very special by the volunteers and staff who run the armoury. We will definitely be back with all our friends. Thank you John, Julian and Amy for the best day out we have had this year!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank cromerty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice to just wander round”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

My choice for a day trip and thank goodness my 'boys' seemed to enjoy it. Ok my boys are 16 and 53 but put them with guns etc and I could quite easily have left them to wander round all day, well ok there's not quite that much to see! One thing I would have appreciated was either a guide or some labelling by the exhibitions. Luckily I have men who know one end of a gun from the other and could generally tell me what I was looking at! Had lunch in the cafe and was happy with our meals.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank nannyg_05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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