About St Barbe
Located at the heart of the beautiful, historic coastal market town of Lymington, St Barbe is both a dynamic museum and highly regarded art gallery that appeals to both locals and New Forest visitors.
The museum explores the history of Lymington and the New Forest Coast, inspired by local pride, and supported by the local community, its collections and colourful, hands-on displays offer a fascinating insight into the area for all ages.
The Art Galleries – Changing Exhibitions
Designed to the highest specifications, the art galleries host an active temporary exhibitions programme featuring a wide range of subjects throughout the year. Our exhibitions change every 8 weeks and the exclusive exhibition programme combines loans from the country's finest public and private collections with the best of local art to create shows of national and regional significance.
'Fantastic Museum, friendly staff and volunteers, and lots for the children to do. Exhibitions are of high quality and the selling gallery with the cafe is a unique idea. Great fun'
The museum’s collections represent life in the coastal strip to the south of the New Forest, the towns of Lymington and New Milton, Barton-on-Sea and the parishes of Boldre, Hordle, Milford and Sway. They illustrate how Lymington developed as a market town and port and reveal smugglers, salt makers and boat builders who have used the Solent shore.
The collections reflect aspects of life in the area from prehistory to the present day including home life, industry, shops, trades, farming, leisure, sport, war, holidays and the local environment.
We also hold an extensive photographic archive of the area. The museum now collects material in a digital format. We also specifically collect material for handling in our educational work with schools, pre-schools, families, the elderly and special interest groups.
If you have something which you think might be of interest to the museum please contact us.
The museum displays provide a colourful, hands on introduction to the New Forest coast. As well as historic artefacts to see there are objects to handle, costumes to try on and a range of activities including a replica pilot boat wheelhouse.
Sea to Land
Reveals that the world-famous fossils of the Barton cliffs tell us this area was once covered by sub-tropical sea and home to sharks, whales and alligators.