• Photo: objects from the Stradling Collection
  • Photo: objects from the Stradling Collection
  • Photo: objects from the Stradling Collection
  • Photo: objects from the Stradling Collection

Beautiful objects, fascinating stories

There are over 2,000 objects in the Stradling Collection including studio and commercial ceramics, glass, sculpture, furniture, industrial design as well as works of art. It is widely recognised as being of national significance and is a real gem in the South West. It is also eclectic and fun and most people who visit enjoy a few “Oooh – we had one of those!” moments.

The Collection holds many stories about its objects, the makers, 48 Park Row and Bristol’s place in the history of craft and design, all vividly brought to life by our Curator, Tanya Martin (pictured).

An architect and ceramicist herself, Tanya’s fascinating tours of the Collection are a real journey through the alchemy and magic of craft and design.

Forthcoming tour dates for 2023

Our Curator’s tours are currently on hold as we prepare for and show our major exhibition Design Icons: Made in Bristol.

Tours will resume towards the end of the year.

“The exhibition did a wonderful job of capturing Ken Stradling’s eye for the beauty and function in the objects around him.

“We were drawn in to the story of Ken Stradling’s life and his collection through Tanya’s captivating storytelling. She provided a rich history of the pieces in the collection as she told us the story of a piece and placed each in the history of the artistic or architectural movement, or historic, cultural moment it represented. We also heard stories of the lives of the artists who created the work, as well as the relationship of the pieces in the collection to Bristol, and to Ken Stradling himself. Tanya’s enthusiasm was contagious and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

“Thank you Tanya!”

Robert Cambray, Wisconsin

“How completely fascinating. You made our visit so interesting.”

“A superb collection – a feast for the eyes!”

“I want to thank you again for the introduction to the wonderful Stradling Collection.

“I loved what I saw with the help of your commentary on most of the objects, and to see at close quarters your inspiring selection of chairs. I’ll certainly make an effort to visit more often in future.”

“Really opened my mind to design”

Photo: Tanya Martin, Curator, with a platter by Sam Haile

Curator Tanya Martin holding “Three Spinsters” by Sam Haile (1909-1947)

Booking enquiry

Please ensure you have read the booking terms below before booking.

If you provide us with more than one date preference it helps us because if we don't have a minimum of four bookings on a given tour date we have to postpone or re-arrange your booking.

Booking terms and accessibility

  • Minimum number of bookings required to run a tour – 4
  • £15 per person: you will be sent a link for payment once the date and booking have been confirmed and agreed
  • After payment, places are non-refundable but may be transferred to a later date
  • You can turn up and pay on the door but tours may be full (or cancelled in exceptional circumstances) so we advise you to book in advance
  • Tours last approx. 1.5 hours
  • Unsuitable for wheelchair users and those unable to use stairs
  • Group bookings available by arrangement
  • Minimum charge for a tour – £60
  • Maximum number for a tour – 10