Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is located on Bold Street in the Cultural Quarter of Warrington, in a Grade II listed building which it shares with the town's Central Library. The Museum and the Library originally opened in 1848 as the first rate-supported library in the UK, before moving to their current premises in 1857. The art galleries were subsequently added in 1877 and 1931.
Warrington Museum and Art Gallery has the distinction of being one of the oldest municipal museums in the UK and much of the quintessential character of the building has been preserved.
The museum's collection was originally based upon the collection of the Warrington Natural History Society but it has since grown and now includes a wide range of subjects such as ethnology, egyptology, geology, Roman Britain, pottery/ceramics, botany, fish, amphibians, reptiles, the Civil War, local industries, birds and mammals, and glass. The building also houses a collection of around 1,000 paintings, (oils, watercolours and prints) from the 19th and early 20th centuries, many of which are on display in the mezzanine Art Gallery on the 2nd floor. On the first floor there are two temporary galleries, one large and one small, which frequently display travelling exhibitions and the work of local artists and events relating to the community.