Back in 2007, instead of going away on holiday, we decided to take time off work and do a week of days out! One of the places that we visited was Mountfitchet Castle in Essex, next to the castle was a toy museum and entry into that was included in the price of the castle entry, so after we explored the castle, we walked up to the museum – appropriately called House on the Hill Toy Museum! For the most up to date opening times and prices etc, don’t forget to check out the website.
It’s this wonderful place full of decades worth of childhood toys that I’m sharing today for day 6 of #MuseumWeek which I learned about on Twitter back on Monday. You can read the about the other museums I’ve shared here.
As you probably guessed from the name, the museum is located at the top of a hill, so there is a walkway that leads you up to the entrance, taking you past the dinosaur encounter, which of course Liam loved!
There are so many different types of toys from the decades – you’re bound to see something that you remember from your childhood! Your child is likely to say “what is THAT” when pointing at something that will look completely archaic to them!
Alan Goldsmith , owner and curator of the toy museum, was born during WWII, during a time in British history when so many sacrifices were made for the war effort in every walk of day to day life; toys were one of these sacrifices.
Alan’s passion for toys was ignited with the purchase of a small toy train when he was just seven. From that moment on he was hooked, over the years he has amassed an amazing collection of toys from every corner of the world dating from Roman times – simple wooden dolls – up to the 1980’s when modern technology in games took off with computerisation.
His collection became so vast that he decided to open the now world famous toy museum in 1991 to the public for all to enjoy. Since Alan first opened the doors there have been over 2.5 million visitors with many returning time after time as there is so much to take in, more than can be enjoyed properly in just one visit.
The House on the Hill Toy Museum has over 70,000 individual toys on display ranging from humble homemade toys, Victorian toys when they were mainly only purchased by the rich to the emergence of modern technology during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Alan’s main dream of opening the toy museum to the public was to allow him to carry on collecting the rarest of dolls, teddies, board games, Hornby trains and robots etc for display to enable the visitor to see toys that may otherwise have been lost to public gaze forever.
– House on the Hill Toy Museum Website
Not only are there thousands of toys to look at, but a collection of film, tv and music memorabilia!
I love history, especially social history and the way we used to be, so this whole collection of toys just had me transfixed! You need a couple of hours to really look at everything in detail, and it’s a lot of fun to point and reminisce about your childhood. We hope to visit again soon, where I’ll be able to take better photographs than these blurry messes!!!
Have you ever been to the House on the Hill Toy Museum?