Museum of Wigan Life

Museum of Wigan Life
baby changing facilities icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Following a £1.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment, the award-winning Museum of Wigan Life (formerly The History Shop) opened to the public, offering a fantastic opportunity for learning and discovery.

The Museum of Wigan Life is housed in Wigan’s first public library and first public building with electric lighting. Alfred Waterhouse designed the building, which opened in 1878. He also designed the Natural History Museum in London and Manchester Town Hall. In 1936 George Orwell researched his book 'The Road to Wigan Pier' in the Reference Library (now Family History and Local Studies) upstairs.

Discover the people and places of Wigan borough, past and present at the Museum of Wigan Life. Lively displays on everything from sport to world war and from music to festivals in Wigan, Leigh and across the borough.

Do you know the tale of Mab’s Cross?
Who is our most famous ukulele player?
And why is Wigan so famous for pies?

You’ll find all the answers and more in our main gallery. Our special exhibitions explore aspects of local history from rugby league to the mysterious sport of clog fighting.

The museum especially welcomes families. Trails for children age 7-11 are available on reception, and the special exhibition has children’s activities. We host a varied and exciting programme of events for adults and families. Please visit our website to find out what is in store! www.wlct.org/wigan/museums-archives

The Museum of Wigan Life Shop offers a huge range of products from miners lamps to the popular ‘I Love Wigan Pie’ range – now featuring handcrafted mugs and teaspoon rests. Try our specialist maps for the family historian or chose a bag of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Monday 9:00 - 2:00
Tuesday 9:00 - 2:00
Wednesday 9:00 - 2:00
Thursday 12.00 - 17.00
Friday 12.00 - 17.00
Saturday 9:00 - 2:00
Sunday Closed

Closed: Sundays
Bank Holidays

Admission charges

Free

Getting there

The museum is at the end of Library Street, five minutes walk from Wigan town centre and 10 minutes walk from Wigan Wallgate and Wigan Northern Western train stations and Wigan bus station. There is very limited parking outside the museum but there is a multi-storey at the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Music, Natural Sciences, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Animal Mummies Uncovered

  • 29 April 2017 — 20 January 2018 *on now

A fascinating, myth-busting new exhibition looking at Ancient Egyptian animal mummies which were prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. This nationally touring exhibition features mummified animal specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds. Explore the recreated subterranean catacomb and discover more about the Ancient Egyptians. Then try the latest science to learn more about the subject! On tour from Manchester Museum.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/whats-on.aspx

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Chinese Celebrations - FREE February Half - Term Activities

  • 20 February 2018 12:30-2pm
  • 22 February 2018 12:30-2pm

Half term is packed full of family fun with our traditional Chinese craft and costume. Try your hand at painting, calligraphy and paper cutting, and then get dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes.

FREE drop-in sessions – no booking required.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

FREE - Drop in Sessions - no booking required

Chinese New Year

  • 24 February 2018 10am-2pm

Join us for an extravaganza of FREE family fun as we celebrate Chinese New Year with music, dancing, costume and craft. Watch the fabulous Chinese dancers throughout the town centre before a special finale at the museum.


10am - 2pm Free family activities at the Museum
11am - Martial Arts Performance at the Grand Arcade
12pm - Lion Dance at the Market Place
1pm - Lion Dance and performance at the Museum of Wigan Life

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

FREE – no booking required.

WOMEN IN WWl - Talk by Marianne Howell

  • 8 March 2018 12:30-1:30pm

“The situation is serious – women must help to save it”
At least one million women were added to the workforce during the war, and were employed in every industry, particularly in munitions, work on the land and nursing, although their wages were universally much less than the men received. They also volunteered in vast numbers, beginning on the day war was declared, and nearly 18,000 charities were formed in the war. This talk deals with all aspects of the lives of women, using national and local illustrations, and looks at how the war affected their lives afterwards.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£2.50 includes Tea/Coffee
Booking essential, please telephone (01942) 828128 or email wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk to book your place.

Children in the Mine talk by Alan Davis

  • 17 May 2018 12:30-1:30pm

The 1842 Children's Employment Commission (Mines). Shocking verbatim evidence mainly from men women and children working in the Lancashire coal industry, leading to the Coal Mines Act 1842

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+

Admission

£2.50 includes Tea/Coffee
Booking essential, please telephone (01942) 828128 or email wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk to book your place.

Dead and Buried: The Wants and Worries of the 19th Century Deceased - Talk by Charlie Guy MA

  • 31 October 2018 12-1pm

Join us on Halloween to dispel the dark myths of the Victorian dead and shine a light on some of the forgotten, outdated and downright creepy funerary practices, traditions and superstitions of the age. From booby-trapped coffins and body-snatchers to photography and funeral souvenirs, come and explore the fascinating world of the Victorian dead brought back to life.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£2.50 includes Tea/Coffee
Booking essential, please telephone (01942) 828128 or email wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk to book your place.

Getting there

The museum is at the end of Library Street, five minutes walk from Wigan town centre and 10 minutes walk from Wigan Wallgate and Wigan Northern Western train stations and Wigan bus station. There is very limited parking outside the museum but there is a multi-storey at the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

Museum of Wigan Life
Library Street
Wigan
Greater Manchester
WN1 1NU
England

Website

E-mail

wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

Telephone

01942 828128

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
advertisement