Museum of Wigan Life

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

Website

E-mail

heritage@wlct.org

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.
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 10.00 - 17.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 17.00
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10.00 - 17.00
Friday 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday 11.00 - 15.00
Sunday Closed

Closed: Wednesdays
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.

Home Front to Battle Front - Wigan Borough at War

  • 6 September 2014 — 10 January 2015

This new exhibition reveals the impact of the First World War on the people and places of our borough. The show will include many objects on display for the first time from trench art, wartime souvenirs, munitions and shrapnel, to uniform and even a prosthetic arm.

Dicover the local stories behind the global catastrophe. Find out more about the hidden histories of women in munitions and other factory work, pit brow lasses and men in reserve occupations down the pit. This exhibition explores everything from bombing raids over Scholes to the German Prisoner of War camp near Leigh.

Watch out for our special events programme to accompany the exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.wlct.org/wigan/museums-archives/mowl/exhibitions/

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.
photogrpah of war horses

Horses for the War by Nigel Neil

  • 6 September 2014 1-2pm

When the First World War broke out, horses were requistioned by the government to pull guns, transport supplies, evacuate the wounded, and occasionally mount calvary charges at the front.

Many of the million or so horses eventually used were trained at Lathom near Ormskirk in Lancashire.

Listen to the fascinating story of the last war in which horses would be used on such a huge scale. Warning - contains some distressing images. Suitable for ages 12+. Followed by Q and A.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£2.50 including tea/ coffee. Places are limited so to book please phone 01942 828128 or email museumofwiganlifebookings@wlct.org.

Website

http://www.wlct.org/wigan/museums-archives/mowl/exhibitions/

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.

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