Beano Time Travellers! at Mottisfont

Dennis and Minnie the Minx from Beano comics

Much-loved Beano characters have set up home at Mottisfont this summer for a vibrant new exhibition exploring 80 years of mischief and mayhem, with fun for all the family. Outside, kids can whizz back through Mottisfont’s past with their favourite Beanotown residents in a bespoke trail.

Beano Time Travellers! takes place from Saturday 20 July – Sunday 8 September 2019, 11am (outdoor trail available from 10am) - 5pm. Normal property admission price only (please note that peak price applies for non-members for the August bank holiday). For visitors unable to access the second floor gallery, which is accessible via stairs only, we have digital versions of exhibitions on iPads which are available on lower levels.

From black-and-red beginnings to the full-colour capers of today, Beano Time Travellers! explores the heritage of the longest running children’s comic in Britain. On show are colourful covers and special editions, showing the timeline of Beano from its first beginnings up to the present day; from Second World War stories to commentary on modern celebrity culture.

The show reveals fascinating insights into the comic-making process, from initial artist’s sketches to final prints. It’s an exhibition for all ages, with detailed information for anyone who wants to delve into the history of the comic, as well as dressing-up costumes and fun photo opportunities.

There'll be original artwork and sketches on show
A pencil sketch of Dennis the Menace for the Beano comic
There'll be original artwork and sketches on show

Out in the grounds

Look out for a giant comic frieze on the walls of our visitor reception building revealing what happens when Beano kids create a time machine during a school trip to Mottisfont... Families can take part in the story on our outdoor trail, designed by the comic.

There’s an exciting opportunity for children to create their very own comic strip at the end of the trail too. Designs can be entered into a competition to win a unique Beano prize: to enter, just post them into the red-and-black striped postbox in the comic-making room.

A Beano illustration of Dennis reading comics in a treehouse

Summer holiday activities at Mottisfont 

Join the Bash Street Kids, Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie the Minx on an exciting interactive adventure whilst on their school trip.

Inside the gallery

Mottisfont’s exhibition includes the original artwork for the first Minnie the Minx comic, which has never been shown publically before.

The exhibition includes the first appearance of Minnie the Minx
A black and white panel from a Beano comic introducing Minnie the Minx
The exhibition includes the first appearance of Minnie the Minx

Dennis and his best friend Gnasher take centre stage in the exhibition too, with artworks showing how the characters’ designs have developed from the 1950s to the present day. The exhibition explores iconic moments which have firmly fixed these characters into the public consciousness, such as ‘the great gnational gnasher search’ in the 1980s.

The exhibition also takes visitors ‘back to school’ with comics and artworks featuring the Bash Street Kids.

Meet the Bash Street Kids at Mottisfont
A colour strip from the Beano comic, 'Ye Olde Bash Street Kids'
Meet the Bash Street Kids at Mottisfont

For the collectors, there’s vintage merchandise including a Beano bicycle and a pair of decorated Doc Martens.