Venue Hire FAQs

The Museum hosts a wide range of events, from conferences and meetings to lavish celebrations and corporate entertainment. Every event is tailored to the hirers' creative ideas, and our experienced events team will work with you to bring your vision to life.  

If you have any questions about hiring the Museum, please contact Meanwhile, below are answers to frequently asked questions to get you started.


Contact the Events Team by filling out our Event Enquiry Form, emailing us at or calling us at 01865 282780.
The spectacular Museum galleries offer flexible spaces for a wide range of evening events including networking drinks receptions, dinners, Christmas parties, wedding receptions, recruitment events, lectures, and more!
Other Museum spaces play host to daytime events with a large lecture theatre for conferences, breakout rooms for smaller meetings, and wide range of filming locations, from behind the scenes documentaries to blockbuster movies.
The Museum is open to the public daily from 10am to 5pm – exclusive hire of the galleries is available outside of these times.
Venue hire fees include the use of all Museum furniture or equipment. The museum has ten round tables and 100 pale blue chairs which can be used for dining for up to 100 people. We also supply coat rails and hangers for up to 100 people, a PA system for speeches and two uplighters. For dining with a difference, ask our Events team about using objects from our handling collection as table centrepieces! 
Catering, additional furniture and A/V requirements are contracted separately by hirers. Caterers should be chosen from our approved list and our team is happy to make recommendations of any other event suppliers. Contact for more information.
The Museum does not have an in-house caterer, instead we offer hirers a list of preferred caterers to choose from. All the caterers on the list have been chosen to give the best quality and service, whilst being mindful of the restrictions of working in a historic building. We ask that hirers please use one of the caterers from our recommended list. Please contact for our recommended list.
The Museum is a Grade I listed building and therefore there are a few restrictions on food, drink and decorations in the space. The events team will work closely with you to develop menus and event plans in line with these restrictions. Because of risk to our building and specimens, we can't allow naked flames, smoke or haze machines, dry ice, internal fireworks, party poppers, crackers, helium balloons, soil, or similar items. Red wine can only be consumed at seated dinners in order to protect our pale stone floor.
The capacities for each space are as follows:
  • Main Court: 120 people seated; 400 people standing
  • Upper Gallery: 120 people seated; 250 people standing
  • Lecture Theatre: 300 people, theatre-style
  • Annexe (per room): 45 theatre-style; 25 cabaret-style
  • Seminar Room: 35 theatre-style; 16 cabaret style
  • Solas Room: 30 boardroom-style
It is possible to use both the Upper Gallery and Main Court simultaneously for seated dinners, so a maximum of 240 people can be accommodated for seated dinners when split between these two spaces.
For up-to-date socially-distanced capacities in line with the most recent government advice, please contact
The public Museum spaces of the Museum are available for set-up from 5pm. The Museum does not have a specific curfew at the end of your event and instead offers an hourly hire rate so event timings are flexible.