The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology presents an ancient, priceless collection of historical artefacts right in our own backyard. Where else in Australia will you find a 12th century limestone relief of the Deposition from the Cross, medieval pottery from the Netherlands and an illuminated Quran found at the Siege of Lucknow?
The museum's creation is perhaps more fascinating as the treasures contained within. The Abbey Folk Park was founded by Reverend John Ward, a leading historian who had also founded a monastic community that blended Eastern and Western cultures. The Abbey Folk Park was opened in London 1934 and by 1940 had over 90 000 artefacts, including some pieces donated by HM Queen Mary. The museum's closure was forced during the 1940 London bombings and the pieces dispersed amongst community members after Rev. Ward's death. In 1950 the community was forced to flee to Australia, where they settled in Caboolture and the rest, pardon the pun, is history.
The museum has two different sections. The first is a time passage that unfolds chronologically, showcasing the prehistoric hunters, the bronze and gold ages, the fierce empires of the Romans, Saxons and Vikings, Europe's golden Renaissance and the industrial revolution. The second section focuses on the ancient world – the fascinating ancient Egyptians, the rich cultures of the Islamic world and the ancient Americas and enduring civilisations from Mesopotamia, Greece and Persia. Amongst the priceless treasures you'll find a death mask from ancient Egypt and a world renowned collection of stained glass, not to mention significant paintings, manuscripts and religious icons.
Standard and environmental heritage tours are available for adults while children can partake in a variety of activities, including hands on instruction in food, fashion and games of the past or a simulated archaeological dig. This is only a small number of the exciting activities for children; see the website for more information. Also worth a mention is the amazing gift store, which stocks handcrafted jewellery based on historical design, a comprehensive library of books and historical replica souvenirs.