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Friends of the Willis Museum Logo

A registered charity that promotes, supports, assists and helps improve the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.

Friends Publications

In addition to our frequent Newsletters (a library of back issues which can be found here) the Friends have supported the publication of a DVD, Books and Leaflet on Basingstoke subjects. The Friends no longer have a stock of the DVD’s and there is currently no plans to produce more copies.

The Basingstoke Triumphal Gateway: its design, construction and what it tells us.

Cost - £7.50 - Currently out of stock but some expected soon

This 64 page, lavishly illustrated book, was published by the Friends in April 2013 with generous financial support from Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council.

With a very significant input from Peter Parkinson and Richard Quinnell, the Gateway’s designers, Chapter One gives a fascinating insight into the commissioning of this prominent public artwork in 1991, the conceptual thinking, the design phase, the manufacturing process and its eventual delivery and controversial erection on site.        

Chapters two and three explain in detail what the sixteen bronze panels fixed to the Gateway tell us about the town’s history and culture. In this respect they satisfy a long-standing demand for an explanation of the panels from residents and from visitors to the town alike. There are references to related exhibits in the Willis Museum and Basingstoke’s other museums.

An appreciation of the man once described by John Arlott as “pre-eminently the Basingstoke man”.

Cost - £2.00 (Was £5.99)

This is the story of a remarkable man, who, in a lifetime that spanned 92 years, spent more than 70 years working as a watchmaker and jeweller, and a total of 37 serving as an Independent on Basingstoke Town Council, including holding the office of Mayor of Basingstoke and Chief Magistrate in 1923/4. In 1931 he founded the Willis Museum, to which he gave the fossils and archaeological artefacts he and his two friends had found in their weekly exploration of the Basingstoke neighbourhood. The Borough honoured him in 1954 by making him the town’s first Freeman.

‘The Visitors Guide to Old Basingstoke’

Cost - £1.00 from the Museum
or Download Below

This is a reprint of a Guide originally published by the Friends of the Willis Museum in the early 1980s. It was revised in 2013 with just a few essential amendments to aid identification but the drawings and most of the descriptive text have been left in their original form.

The Guide takes you to and provides you with some information on the twenty four most historical and iconic locations in the centre of Basingstoke.  

To buy these...

These publications where still available can be purchased at the Willis Museum.

Alternatively the printed items can be ordered directly from the Friends of the Willis Museum with delivery by standard second class mail, subject to an additional charge for post and packing. You should write to the Hon Treasurer, Friends of the Willis Museum, c/o The Willis Museum, Market Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7QD or email to, enclosing your full postal address and telephone number. On receipt of this request you will be given details of the total cost and the payment options. The items will be despatched on receipt of payment.