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Quick Details

Person All Ages

See Memorabilia and Artifacts

The present Heritage Centre is on the site of two earlier establishments. Originally the “New Inn,” in 1868 the site became “The Royal Oxford Music Hall”. The following year, the building became The Criterion public house, with a music hall called “The Palace of Varieties” situated immediately to its rear.

This offered “rational amusement for all classes” including, in April 1876, a one-armed juggler! In 1879, the earlier building was replaced with a brick one.

The above paragraph is just a sample of the history the Blue Town Heritage Centre and The Criterion Music Hall have waiting for you to discover for just £2.50 entry. Indeed, there is so much waiting for you to discover that you’re sure to be surprised.

The heritage centre itself is jam-packed with items, memorabilia and artifacts. Once you have absorbed all of the amazing feats of history our island was responsible for, why not relax in our comfortable cafe and enjoy our famous cream teas?

The main space in the centre and our pride and joy is The Criterion Music Hall. After being damaged and falling into disrepair following a German bombing raid in WWI, the room has been lovingly restored over the past few years to its newfound glory and continues its main purpose of entertaining the public once again.

More Info

  • Parking is free and close to the venue.
  • The centre is proud to be a part of the Wheels of Time scheme, where children can collect a badge from 40 museums across Kent.
  • We are also members of the Historic Swale and are partners in KCC’s Children’s University passport scheme. To find out more, ask any of our volunteers.