The Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages 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 displayed, from grand carriages such as Queen Victoria’s State Landau to antique sedan chairs and Victorian ‘growlers’.
The Carriage Museum collection was the gift of Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, twelve times 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 the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages opened in 1946. It was the first of its kind in Britain and is still viewed as one of the finest in Europe.
The collection is housed in the 14th century stables, part of the medieval Archbishop’s Palace complex used by the Archbishop of Canterbury when travelling through the county.