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Wilton Park & Bagshaw Museum (also known as Wilton Park, Wilton Park Museum)


A Victorian former mill owner's house set in 36 acres of parkland and ancient woodland, the museum is host to a wide range of unusual and exciting collections from around the world. Once the home of George Sheard from 1875-1902, this Gothic house became a museum over one hundred years ago in 1911 and was named after its first curator, Walter Bagshaw.

Wilton Park is a public park located in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. Opened to the public in 1909 in the grounds of an old mansion by the Batley Corporation, the park now serves the whole of the town. The park contains a lake, formal gardens, a large area of natural woodland and open fields.

Walter Bagshaw died in 1927 and, in recognition of his work, the Wilton Park Museum was renamed the Bagshaw Museum.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Regular opening times

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am - 5pm.

Saturday & Sunday 12pm - 5pm


The house was built in 1875/76 at a cost of £25,000, which would be over £2.5 million today. Named 'The Woodlands', it stands on high ground just off Upper Batley Lane and overlooks Batley from the north.

It was planned that the estate would become a public park. The Earl of Wilton gave an extra 29 acres to the council to form the basis of Batley's public park - named Wilton Park.

The Sheard family lived here until George Sheard's death in 1902, when the house was put up for sale at £3,000. It attracted no interest, possibly because its interior was too unusual and the site was comparatively isolated. Woodlands remained empty for several years until 25 March 1909, when 'The Woodlands' was bought by Batley Corporation for just £5.

The museum opened to the public on 4 October 1911, with Walter Bagshaw, now retired from business, as Honorary Curator. By 1924 the museum comprised 12 public rooms and had become the main source of recreation for the people of Batley and Birstall.

Features & Designations


    Key Information

    Open to the public