Discover The New-look Joseph Banks Centre

The Joseph Banks Centre has recently re-opened with a focus on the Natural Sciences and Local Heritage.

The multi-purpose centre is the ideal place to start any visit to Horncastle. In addition to being an interesting museum and exhibition space, it also houses the town’s Tourist Information point. Here you will find leaflets for local attractions and lots of walking and cycling maps to help you discover the area. It also has displays of upcoming events and things to do in Horncastle and the surrounding villages.

The centre is currently hosting an exhibition by Horncastle History and Heritage Society. “End of the Line” has information, images and artefacts relating to the railway line that ran between Horncastle and Woodhall Spa from 1855 until its closure in 1971. The route of the old railway is now a very pleasant and family friendly walking path with a number of sculptures on its length. The exhibition runs until 4th September. For more information on the walk have a look in the Things To Do section.

Other displays, provided by the Sir Joseph Banks Society, show the connection between the town and Sir Joseph, who owned the nearby Revesby Estate and had a townhouse in Horncastle. Information is provided on his expeditions, plant collecting activities, links with Australia and New Zealand and also the foundation of Kew Gardens in London.

The building also has a specialist Library and a peaceful Tribute Garden, which showcases some of the plant species that were brought to the UK as a result of the work of Sir Joseph Banks.

Out of the public eye, in specially temperature controlled storage areas, the centre is also home to a number of herbariums. One of these, LoveLincsPlants, is a collaboration between the centre here in Horncastle, the Natural History Museum in London, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union and the University of Lincoln. Funded by the National Lottery, the project aims to preserve Lincolnshire’s botanical heritage, train young people in botany skills and inspire the next generation to embrace the importance of plants in the modern world.

Please check current opening days just to be safe, although there is often someone around on non-official days so you can also try your luck. Entry to all areas of the museum and garden is free.