Quex House was built in 1812, and many of the passions and interests of its builder John Powell Powell can still be seen today, including a collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, a collection of naval canon and the distinctive boat-shaped curve to two of the publicly accessible rooms.
In its lifetime, the house has been extensively remodelled, with the current layout largely reflecting the life of Percy Powell-Cotton and his family, who lived in the house in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Percy is perhaps best known as the founder of the Powell-Cotton Museum and an explorer, and his travels and enthusiasm for collecting spilled into his house. Many exotic influences can be found in the Oriental Drawing Room, for example.
Today the house is run by a Charitable Trust, but continues to reflect the eclectic style and homely feel of the Powell-Cotton family.
Today’s opening hours
Museum and Gardens: Tuesday 15 January to Sunday 15 December 2019 - 10am - 5pm.
Museum and Gardens: Tuesday 15 January to Sunday 15 December 2019 - 10am-5pm.
Quex House: 2 April to 31 October 2019 - 1pm-4pm.
From London take the M2, or from Canterbury the A28 and follow signs for Margate. As you enter Birchington, turn right into Park Lane. The entrance to Quex Park and the Museum is approximately half a mile on the left handside.
By rail – the journey from London Victoria to Birchington-on-Sea takes around 1 hour, 45 minutes. The walk from the train station through Birchington’s Station Road and along Park Lane takes about 20 – 30 minutes. The Highspeed train from St Pancras to Margate takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Car park on site
Thanet Cars 01843 333333
Historic Houses members visit for free.
Carers and under 5s: Free
- Accessible toilets
- Access statement available
- Accessible parking
Quex Park is exceptionally well placed to provide a memorable group visit with professional, flexible and comprehensive group facilities in an historic country house setting.
Depending on the type of group there are a variety of attractions on Quex Park including the Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens, Quex Barn Farmers Market and Quex Craft Village.
Things to See
The builder of Quex House, John Powell Powell, was an avid collector of all things naval. This included ship furniture, such as figureheads, personal items from Napoleon taken from the battle of Waterloo, and a large collection of naval cannon, which can now be seen outside the front of Quex House.
In the 1890s Percy Powell-Cotton made several visits to Kashmir, India, and on inheriting Quex House in 1892, used his experience to redesign the ballroom into the new ‘Oriental Drawing Room’.
In 1898 he instructed a wood carver in Srinagar, Kashmir, to build wood panelling for his home in Birchington, which he had shipped back home and fitted himself. He then filled the room with treasures old and new, showing influences from India, China, Japan and Burma. Whilst this ‘Oriental’ style was very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, few examples survive in domestic settings today, making the Oriental Room at Quex rather special.
Since the museum’s founder, Percy Powell-Cotton created this extraordinary museum, learning has been at the heart of everything we do.
We offer a range of tailored tours and workshops and self-led visits are also welcome. Whether you want to spend just a few hours or a whole day exploring our galleries. Must be booked in advance.