The Museum was founded in 1976 and for twenty years occupied two rooms at the Quaker Hall, Beccles. In 1996 it moved to Leman House in Ballygate, Beccles where it can still be found. The collection has mainly been built up through donations and concentrates on objects and information related to Beccles and the surrounding area. Much of the collection dates to Victorian times but we do have archaeological artefacts, a small number of items relating to the Roman and Saxon period and items from the early 20th Century. The Museum has a large number of local photographs covering subjects such as buildings, people, industry and activities. The Museum achieved registration under the National Museum Accreditation scheme in 2007 and we were re-accredited in 2013. Beccles and District Museum is a registered Charity, number 279134.
Beccles and District Museum has accreditation under the National Museum Accreditation Scheme. The scheme is managed by Arts Council England and is designed to show how a Museum manages and develops its collection for the enjoyment and benefit of the community. The scheme, which is renewable on a three-year basis, was established in 1988 and Beccles Museum first achieved accreditation in 2007. There are currently some 1800 Museums across the UK, both large and small, that are part of the scheme.
Visit East Anglia, East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk Museums ran a competition to pick the 2012 Suffolk Museum of the Year. Beccles Museum along with 26 other local Museums entered the competition and we were delighted to reach the finals. From this short list of eight museums the winner, Lowestoft Maritime Museum, was chosen on the 11th October 2012 at an event in Ipswich. The 2013 competition was won by the National Trust property, Ickworth House which is near Bury St Edmunds.