River & Rowing Museum

The museum is situated right on the bank of the River Thames in the heart of picturesque regatta town of Henley.

The museum opened in 1998 with three permanent galleries; one devoted to the river, one to rowing and one to the history of the local area. As well as hosting a changing programme of temporary art and photography exhibitions, it is also home to a Wind in the Willows display which brings the books to life using 3D models and music. 

Permanent collections

Museum artefacts span from the ancient world to the 21st century Olympic Games. In the rowing gallery the display includes a Greek trireme, the boat Sir Sydney Swann used to row across the English Channel in 1911 and the boat in which Sir Steve Redgrave won his fifth Olympic gold medal in Sydney – as well as Sir Matthew Pinsent's shoes. The river gallery meanwhile focuses on the wildlife and ecology of the water.

In the Henley gallery visitors can see Victorian costumes as would have been worn to the Royal Regatta in the 19th century, a 2000 year old hoard of Iron Age gold coins and the remains of the tree where Prince Rupert hung a parliamentarian during the Civil War. 

Visitor information

The Quince Tree cafe offers a range of handmade patisserie and artisan savoury treats, including special river-themed lunches. At the museum shop there's a selection of homeware, gifts, preserved and jams.


Art we've helped buy at River & Rowing Museum

Venue details

River & Rowing Museum Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire RG9 1BF 01491 415600 www.rrm.co.uk

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £11)

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 24 – 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan