Henley, the River Thames and rowing are synonymous with one another
and the Museum has three permanent galleries dedicated to each of
Rowing Gallery illustrates the history of rowing from its origins
in the fleets of ancient Greece to today's most technologically
gallery is about the quest for speed and the transformation from
workboat to racing boat. Key exhibits include the winning boat of
the first Oxford and Cambridge boat race, as well as and the world's
oldest known competitive rowing boat. Interactive exhibits challenge
visitors to find out just how difficult it is to row in unison as
enthusiasts can also see the boat in which Redgrave, Pinsent, Foster
and Cracknell won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
displays enable the visitor to discover the finer points of rowing
and reveal accounts of rowers' exploits from building a 170-oar
trireme to winning an Olympic gold.
Thames Gallery offers visitors a range of perspectives, looking
at the river as an inspiration for the arts, as a natural habitat
for wildlife and as both a source of pleasure and a means of trade.
from local and private collections, some of which had never been
on view to the public before, help to illustrate the historic and
social importance of the river, whilst the latest technology and
interactive displays enable visitors to learn more about river management
and water supply.
The Henley Gallery provides a history of the town's development
through the centuries and the vital role the river has played in
that development. Visitors can take a 'virtual' tour of the town
through state-of-the-art technology. An adjacent gallery houses
Henley from the Wargrave Road (1698) - a painting of international
significance by Flemish artist Jan Siberechts, who is widely regarded
as one of the founders of the British landscape tradition.