Braintree Museum

Visitors looking at fashion display at Braintree Museum

Braintee museum’s main galleries chart the history of the town and district, from the prehistoric era up to the 21st century, focusing on Braintree’s archaeology, industry and craftsmanship. The museum also holds an important archive relating to Courtaulds Ltd and displays feature items from this collection including crepe mourning outfits and items associated with the production of crepe, the material that made the company famous. Other highlights of the collection include a Courtauld Loom and personal items of the family.

Courtaulds Ltd began in Essex in the 18th century and the Courtauld family used their wealth from the textile industry to endow buildings, schools, and gardens throughout Braintree during the 19th and 20th century, including the Manor Street School, which now houses Braintree Museum.

In 2020 Braintree Museum brought together Samuel Courtauld’s collection, with the loan of four stunning Gauguin prints from the Courtauld Gallery, in a new and innovative exhibition about the Courtauld family and the company. The exhibition also featured materials from a volunteer project which collected memories from local residents, many of which are now on permanent display.

Take a Closer Look

Visitors view Gauguin print at Braintree Museum

Courtaulds: Origins, Innovation, Family Exhibition

Find out more about our exhibition at Braintree Museum looking at the legacy of the Courtauld family, including four prints by Gauguin owned by Samuel Courtauld.


A former Courtaulds employee listens to an audio display

Courtauld Memories in Braintree and Halstead

Find out more about our volunteer project with Braintree Museum that collected the memories of former Courtauld Ltd employees and members of the Courtauld family.

Get Involved

You can find out more about Braintree Museum and the project in Braintree by visiting their website or getting in touch:

T: 01376 328868