Located on Mill Street in the centre of Maidstone, the Carriage Museum offers an insight into the fascinating history of transport and is home to a unique collection of horse-drawn vehicles and transport curiosities. More than 60 vehicles are on display, ranging from grand carriages such as Queen Victoria’s State Landau, to antique sedan chairs and Victorian ‘growlers’.
Housed in the 14th-century stables of the medieval Archbishop’s Palace complex used by the Archbishop of Canterbury when travelling through the county, the Carriage Museum collection was the gift of Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, 12-time Mayor of Maidstone. He began collecting carriages when he realised that the horse-drawn vehicles of his childhood were being forced off the road by the motor car. Thanks to his energy and enthusiasm, Maidstone Carriage Museum opened in 1946 and was the first of its kind in Britain and is still viewed as one of the finest in Europe.