The House of Automata - Atlas Obscura

The House of Automata is an exhibition of antique and modern mechanical moving figures, as well as a restoration workshop.

A visit to the House of Automata will give you an insight into the anatomy of mechanical life, from a sailing ship the size of a fingernail to the glamorous Nancy, a larger-than-life breathing automaton.

In the visible workshop, you can see examples of all the various skills needed to restore and make automata. The skills of the clockmaker, musician, sculptor, painter, and dressmaker can all be used in an automaton restoration project.

In the exhibition, you can see hundreds of automata, many of which have QR codes with links to videos of them working. There is also an interactive gallery of antique and modern automata, which can be operated via push buttons.

The House of Automata also offers an hour-long tour that goes behind the scenes of the exhibition and workshop. The guided tour includes demonstrations of many fine and rare automata.

There is also a gift shop, which is free to enter and features magic, puzzle boxes, animated cards, and scientific and technical toys.

Know Before You Go

The entrance is just off the High Street on Leys Road. Exhibition and gift shop opening times vary, please see the House of Automata website for details.

Advance booking is required for the Automata Experience Guided Tour. See the website for more details.

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March 23, 2010
August 24, 2023

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