From rainy days to sunny weekends, Preston Hall Museum & Park holds something for everyone. Located within the Hall itself, the Museum tells the story of the local region, from the Dark Ages to the present day, through regular exhibitions, period rooms and a recreated Victorian open-air street with working craftsmen.
A major part of the work of the Stockton Museums Service is the care of its large and varied collections. These range from a plastic hairbrush that belonged to the singer Lonnie Donnegan to Georges de la Tours 1640s masterpiece 'The Dice Players'.
The foundations of the collections are two bequests made to the people of Stockton in the early part of the last century. These are the Spence Collection of historic weapons and militaria, and the Clephan Art Collection (including the Dice Players).
The main themes of the collections focus on domestic and working life over the last two hundred years, supporting the main street and room displays at Preston Hall Museum. Particular areas of interest include craft tools, toys and costume.
Another aspect of the collections are the papers, plans and photographs that go to make up the local history resources. These are used to support exhibition work and assist public enquiries for family research and other projects. The service is exploring ways of improving access to local history resources. In the meantime staff will be happy to help with any enquiries and allow access to collections by appointment.
The popular surrounding park has a wide range of activities and facilities including an adventure playground, woodland walks and the Café Tees.