In 1855 Thomas Charles, a local doctor and antiquarian, left his collections of art and antiquities to Maidstone Borough Council. The Council acquired Charles’s house, Chillington Manor,from his executors and in 1858 opened it as the Charles Museum, later renamed Maidstone Museum. The Museum was one of the first to be opened as a result of the Museums Act (1845) and was a founder member of the Museums Association (1909). Maidstone Museum celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008. Perspective view including ground plans published in The Building News, February 23rd 1877.