The Brassey Family & Their Collection

The Brasseys were an influential family in Hastings in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th centuries.  They were very wealthy and lived in great style at their country houses, Beauport Park and Normanhurst Court, but they also had a strong sense of public duty and were closely involved with local politics and charitable causes.

They donated a large portion of their impressive collection of world art objects, as well as the magnificent Durbar Hall, in 1919.  The Museum also has an archive of press cuttings, political speeches and photographs.


  • Model of The Sunbeam schooner
    The Sunbeam
    The 'Sunbeam' was a 3-masted steam schooner, 48m ...
  • Photograph of the Lower Durbar dated 1887
    The Lady Brassey Museum

    The Durbar Hall was purchased as a ...

  • Painting of Thomas Brassey
    Thomas Brassey II (1836-1918)

    Thomas Brassey II studied Law but his ambition ...

  • painting of Annie Brassey
    Annie Brassey (1839-1887)

    Anna 'Annie' Allnut was born into a wealthy ...

  • Illustration of Annie Brassey
    'How the journal was written', after a drawing by the Hon A Bingham
    Annie started recording their life at sea in letters ...
  • An offering vessel made from gilded lacquered wood
    Offering vessel from Myanmar (Burma)

    This offering vessel from the 19th ...

  • Malagan Mask made of wood, fibre and mud
    Malagan Mask from New Ireland province, Papua New Guinea

    The people of northern New Ireland, Papua New ...

  • Photograph of the Lower Durbar Hall
    The Durbar Hall

    This magnificent carved hall was made for the ...

  • Photograph of the Upper Durbar Hall
    The Upper Durbar Hall
    Today the upper floor of the Durbar Hall contains ...
  • Feathered cloak fibre netting covered in bundles of feathers
    Feather Cloak from Hawaii - 'Ahu 'ula

    Feathered regalia was a unique feature of ...

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