The Higgins Bedford
The Higgins Bedford unites on one site three previous cultural venues: Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford Museum and Bedford Gallery. The buildings themselves date back 200 years and have their own rich history of occupation and use, even before they became employed for their latest cultural past.
The Higgins Family and Castle Lane
The website at Castle Lane, the Higgins family and the development of the art gallery and museum are intrinsically linked. Charles Higgins and his family moved to Bedford from the 1820s, founding the brewery in Castle Lane and building the family home next to it. The family business was very successful and they were important, influential figures over the town for over a hundred years. The brewery remained in the Higgins family until the late 1920s when Cecil Higgins, then over seventy, decided to sell it to Wells & Winch Ltd. in order to focus on his dream to found a museum.
History of the Site
The art museum and gallery inhabit a complex set of historical buildings. As well as the Higgins family home and the Higgins Brewery buildings, there’s the Hexagonal Gallery which is the oldest part of the website, and Bedford Gallery, a Grade II listed building.
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