The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is an Art Gallery, Museum, Library and Visitor Information Centre situated in the heart of historic Canterbury, Kent.

The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who studied medicine before emigrating to Australia, where he found his success. Upon his death in 1891, Dr Beaney left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge.

A cultural hub in East Kent, praised for its welcoming atmosphere, providing a range of services under one roof, uniting art, heritage, books, ideas, information and collections.

Health and Wellbeing at The Beaney

The Beaney is a therapeutic museum that can help improve your health and wellbeing. Contemporary research has confirmed that museum collections have restorative and therapeutic qualities, enhancing people’s mental and physical wellbeing. With this in mind, The Beaney has developed an award-winning health and wellbeing programme, which uses its unique building and collections to create a ‘tonic’ to enhance a visitor’s experience.

Regular Health and Wellbeing groups at The Beaney include:

  • Sensing Culture – A monthly group where partially sighted adults are welcome to enjoy museum object handling, tactile tours, and creating artwork.
  • Power of The Object – A group for people living with a diagnosis of dementia, their carers and those at risk of loneliness. Participants attend themed sessions with object handling, gallery visits and lots of cups of tea!
  • Mindfulness Mondays – Where people are invited to take a mindful journey through the museum. Participants take part in some breathing and focusing techniques and then take time to look more closely at items from the museum’s collection.

The Beaney is also the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance South East Museums Champion, providing support and learning opportunities for heritage organisations across the South East including networking events, workshops and digital webinars.