National Badminton Museum

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At the       National Badminton Centre,                  Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge,


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Volunteers realising the importance of recording and preserving badminton’s heritage formed a committee in 2003 resulting in the launch of the National Badminton Museum. The Museum has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of badminton artefacts, archives and memorabilia in the world. The collection is displayed and can be seen at the National Badminton Centre, Bradwell Rd. Loughton Lodge, Milton Keynes MK8 9LA, which is the home of English badminton.

In 2007 the Museum was granted Charity Status coinciding with a generous legacy left to the Museum by the late Audrey Dance nee Stone, a former English international badminton player. To comply with the Charity Commission regulations the National Badminton Museum is now managed by Trustees and a working party of volunteers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Museum.

A large amount of reference material is available in the office of the National Badminton Museum which is usually open Thursday between 1.00pm. and 3.00pm. Please contact the Museum for an appointment.

Visitors are welcome to look round the Museum unescorted at any time the National Badminton Centre is open -normally 9am to 8pm every day.

ADMISSION:-     FREE  entry and parking, donations welcome.

If you have any badminton memorabilia, archive material or any other items and would like to donate them to the Museum please contact us.

For further information on the National Badminton Museum at Milton Keynes or to become a ‘Friend of the Museum’, please e-mail:

  Charity No. 1118059


old rackets, museum, Oct 2014 Shuttles, museum, Oct 2014
Museum, old bat, Oct 2014 Shuttles, museum, oct 2014

Badminton History

Badminton House and Estate lies in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside and is the private home of the 12th Duke of Beauford and the Somerset family. The house is not normally open to the general public, it dates from the 17th century and is set in a beautiful deer park which hosts the world famous Badminton Horse Trials. The Great Hall at Badminton House is famous for an incident on a rainy day in 1863 when the game of badminton was said to have been invented by friends of the 8th Duke of Beaufort. We know the game of Battledore was being played at Badminton House as well as other country houses as far back as the early 1800's. Battledore or Shuttlecock as it was sometimes called was a game where two players would hit the shuttlecock backwards and forward to each other, counting how many times they could to this without it falling to the floor. The Battledore bats had fine leather covered shafts, almost circular heads and instead of having strings the heads were covered in vellum. Shuttlecocks at this time would almost certainly have been made from chicken feathers pushed into cork and would have been twice the size and weight as we know them today. On that rainy day in 1863 one of the guests had the idea of putting some string across from the door to the fireplace in the Great Hall and hitting the shuttle over the string to each other. The Great Hall at Badminton House is the same size as a badminton court as we know it today, 44 feet (13.4m) by 20 feet (6.9m).

The Badminton Association was formed at a meeting at Dunbar, 6 Waverley Grove in Southsea, Hampshire on the 13th September 1893. At the meeting there were nine clubs represented, they decided on the rules of the Association and framed the rules for the game of badminton. It was the first National Badminton Association in the world. The popularity of the sport increased rapidly with 300 clubs being introduced by the 1920's, rising to 9000 shortly after World War 2. The Badminton Association would govern world badminton until 1934. In 1934 the Badminton Association changed its name to the Badminton Association of England and again in 2005 to BADMINTON England.

The first recorded open tournament (open to anyone) was staged at Guildford Badminton Club 1898. It was so successful that the Badminton Association followed suit and the following year a one-day tournament was held at the London Scottish Rifles Drill Hall in London on the 4th of April 1899. This was the birth of the All-England Championships the world's oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament. The All-England Championships have been sponsored by Yonex since 1984.

In 1903 the first international badminton match was played in Dublin between Ireland and England. England won 5-2.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was formed in 1934 with nine founder members: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Holland, Canada, New Zealand and France, as a consequence the Badminton Association became the Badminton Association of England. From nine founder members, the IBF, now called the Badminton World Federation (BWF), has over 176 member nations.

The World's first open badminton tournament was played in the Royal Albert Hall, London September 1979. The tournament was open to both professionals as well as amateurs. 20 of the top players in the world were invited and it was sponsored by Friends Provident. The tournament marked the arrival of Open Badminton and gave players an opportunity to receive money for winning while playing badminton. There had been much debate and heated argument for many years variously described as amateurism, professionalism and sham amateurism. It was at the International Badminton Federation's AGM in May 1979 that the revised rules were adopted, which would not harm the aspirations for badminton to become an Olympic sport.

Badminton was officially granted Olympic status in the 1992 Barcelona Games. Indonesia was the dominant force in that first Olympic tournament, winning two golds, a silver and a bronze; the country's first Olympic medals in its history. More than 1.1 billion people watched the 1992 Olympic badminton competition on television. Eight years later, and more than a century after introducing badminton to the world, Britain claimed their first medal in the Olympics when Simon Archer and Joanne Goode achieved Mixed Doubles Bronze in Sydney. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms won a silver medal in the Mixed Doubles. In 2016 at the Rio Games Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge won a Bronze Medal in the Men's Doubles.