Museum of Wigan Life

Museum of Wigan Life
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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.

Childs Play A Celebration of Childhood Exhibition

  • 3 April 2018 — 31 January 2019 *on now

Currently on display is our new temporary exhibition Childs Play covering from how life was like as a child in the Victorian era, from schooling to working life. We have lots of interactions from a school room setup, dressing up and putting your own puppet show on! plus much more. A must see exhibition!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free exhibition

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.
puppet theatre

It`s Showtime!

  • 23 August 2018 1-2:30pm

Join us over the summer holidays to create your very own puppet theatre. Go on a quiz trail around the new childhood exhibition. Play games and learn some fascinating facts!

Booking essential on (01942) 828128 or wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

£2.50 per child

Royal Children in Ancient Egypt -Talk by Dr Campbell Price

  • 13 September 2018 12:30-1:30pm

The lives of royal children are perhaps the best known from ancient Egyptian society. This lecture traces the experience of being a child using archaeological evidence before illustrating the special status of the Pharaoh's offspring.
Places are limited so please book by phoning 01942 828128 or emailing wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2.50 includes Tea/Coffee

Appley Bridge Meteorite Talk as featured on BBC TV and Radio

  • 8 October 2018 12-1pm

A special chance to catch this popular talk - join us for a fascinating insight into the fall and discovery of the Appley Bridge meteorite in 1914, as told through newspaper reports and archive documents of the time. The meteorite explosions, fireball, the confusion with enemy Zeppelins, the confiscation of the meteorite by the police and its subsequent release for analysis will all be told.

‘The Appley Bridge Meteorite’ book includes previously unseen images of the meteorite from around the World. Signed copies will be available for purchase.
Places are limited so booking is essential. Please book on (01942) 828128 or wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17

Admission

£2.50 includes tea/coffee

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.
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