Science Museum at Wroughton

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The Science Museum at Wroughton
Science Museum entrance.jpg
The unimposing entrance to the very large site.
Established 1979
Location Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire, England
Type Science museum
Director Ian Blatchford
Science Museum Group

The Science Museum at Wroughton, near Swindon, England, is the large-object store of the Science Museum (London). It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry.[1]


The Science Museum took ownership of the 545 acre former RAF Wroughton airfield in 1979, to be used as a storage facility for the largest objects of the Science Museum. A collection of approximately 26,000 objects is currently kept in six of the hangars, from the first hovercraft to MRI scanners, and computers to (de-activated) nuclear missiles. The store is particularly notable for its extensive collection of vintage aircraft, road transport vehicles, agricultural machinery and industrial collections.


The object collections at Wroughton are not normally open to the public, however "research" visits to see specific objects in store can be booked by application.

The Wood Press[edit]

The largest object at Wroughton is thought to be the Wood Press, part of the last working printing press in Fleet Street. The press was acquired in 2001 and weighs 140 tonnes. It is the size of two small houses.[2]

Science Museum Library and Archives[edit]

The site is also home to the Science Museum Library & Archives, which are open to the public by appointment on Fridays 10.00 - 17.00. Its holdings include rare books and first editions of original scientific, engineering and technology works from the last 500 years. The archive collections include the engineering drawings of Charles Babbage and Barnes Wallis as well as papers relating to Donald Campbell and Hooper's car building firm. The Library also has a large periodical collection, British patents from 1617 - 1992 and a trade literature collection. [3]

The Library & Archives has an online catalogue at

A Douglas DC3 at the museum.
A Ford Edsel at the museum.

Selected large objects at Wroughton[edit]

Important works in the Library and Archives[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Science Museum Swindon: Unofficial Museum Guide". Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Big Object storage. 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "The subversive encyclopedia." by John Underwood in Science Museum Library & Archives Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′44.1″N 1°48′46″W / 51.512250°N 1.81278°W / 51.512250; -1.81278