Peterborough Museum

Peterborough Museum Building
baby changing facilities icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Peterborough Museum is a fascinating and fun place to visit for all the family, right in the heart of the city centre. Having recently undergone a £3.2 million redevelopment (we open again on 31st March 2012) we're looking better than ever and 2012 is going to be an exciting year for Peterborough Heritage! General admission to the Museum is free, we hope you enjoy your visit, and that you will want to come back and see us regularly – there is always something different to see or do throughout the year. We are a Visit Britain Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance scheme attraction.

Priestgate dates back to the twelfth century (when the current town plan was set down by the monks of Peterborough abbey) and the first recorded house on the site was built in the 16th century (a grand mansion for the Orme family), although the current building dates from 1816. It was the town house of newly-weds, Thomas and Charlotte Cooke. In 1856 the Priestgate mansion was sold to the 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam who allowed it to be used as the city's first hospital, the Peterborough Infirmary, from 1857 until 1928. This impressive Georgian building became the museum in 1931 and an art gallery was added in 1939.

Many of the original Georgian features can still be seen today, as can traces of its use as a hospital - as part of the recent redevelopment, the original operating theatre has been restored and visitors will be able to visit it for the first time (the only one of its kind in the country)!

The Museum and its collections are owned by Peterborough City Council and are managed by Vivacity Culture & Leisure, a registered charitable trust.

Venue Type:

Museum, Historic house or home, Gallery, Heritage site

Opening hours

Open Tues-Sun 10.00-17.00
Bank Holiday Mondays – 10am– 5pm
Mondays (School holidays only) – 10am – 5pm

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day & Good Friday. We are closed Mondays during term time.

Admission charges

Free admission; donations welcome.

Admission charges may apply to special exhibitions or events.

Getting there

The Museum is in Peterborough city centre, a very short walk (a minute or two) from city centre shops and the Cathedral. It is also a two minute walk from the bus station. Peterborough train station is on the East Coast mainline, and the Museum is a short walk (less than 5 minutes) along a signposted route from the station. Peterborough is conveniently located just off the A1. Follow signs towards the city centre and use city centre car parks. There is limited disabled parking available on-site.

The collections housed at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery can be seen on display in the permanent galleries, in temporary exhibitions or by arrangement to view from the reserve collections.

There are over 212,000 objects, which have been collected over 130 years, now in the care of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery. In 1968, the museum and its collections were presented to the City of Peterborough by the Museum Society (founded 1871, as the Peterborough Natural History Society and Field Club).

The collections cover a great many subjects and some are of national and international importance, such as the Norman Cross Prisoner-of-War Craft work, the Jurassic marine reptile fossils, finds from Roman Peterborough and the original manuscripts of the famous poet John Clare.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Literature, Maritime, Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War

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.
Contemporary Georgian painting of Georgian ladies and gentleman at a tea parlour

Georgian Family Tea Party

  • 6 February 2016 10:30am-1:30pm *on now
  • 19 March 2016 10:30am-1:30pm
  • 9 April 2016 10:30am-1:30pm
  • 7 May 2016 10:30am-1:30pm

Put a spring in your Saturdays this spring and bring the family to the Museum for a tea party with a twist! With Georgian parlour games, a family trail, biscuit decorating and take-home crafts, plus a fabulous tea party lunch, you’ll feel like the owners of Priestgate Mansion in no time!

Admission: £10 per person; booking is essential as places are strictly limited.
To book call 01733 864 663.

Image © Trustees of the British Museum

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10 per person

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/georgian-family-tea-party

A painting of the prisoners at Norman Cross, in the foreground it shows some of the men going about doing jobs and in the background you can see the prison buildings and lines of men walking

The Prison at Norman Cross: The Lost Town of Huntingdonshire

  • 11 February 2016 From 7:30pm

Part of the "What did the Georgians ever do for us?" lecture series. A Talk by Paul Chamberlain. 200 years ago Peterborough had a population of 3,500, but five miles to the west was a vibrant community of nearly 7,000; however this was a prison depot housing many of Napoleon's soldiers. Its story is one of bone ships, domino boxes, forgery of banknotes and bribery of soldiers...

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets £5 Adults, £4 concessions

A man dressed in Georgian highwayman costume looking at the camera with a menacing look, most of his face hidden by his collar and pointing a pistol directly at the camera

In The Shadow of the Noose: Crime & Punishment in Georgian England

  • 18 February 2016 From 7:30pm

Part of the "What did the Georgians ever do for us?" lecture series. A talk by Stuart Orme. Crime in the Georgian period has a romantic image - dashing highwaymen and stories of derring-do. But what was the reality of crime in this period? Explore the truth behind the myths of notorious criminals including Dick Turpin, as well as the summary trials and brutal executions when justice was ruled by the 'Bloody Code'.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets £5 Adults, £4 concessions

woman with dark curly hair wearing a bonnet with a white dress and a mustard scarf holding up a silky green umbrella with tassles

Georgian Splendour to Regency Elegance: changing fashions in the time of Jane Austen

  • 25 February 2016 From 7:30pm

Part of the "What did the Georgians ever do for us?" lecture series. A talk by Izabela Pitcher. Delicate lace and extravagant wigs - Georgian fashion could be sumptuous! Discover how the dress styles, undergarments and accessories changed throughout the era. Plus get up close with replica costume.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets £5 Adults, £4 concessions

calligraphy pen lying across a page of calligraphy penmanship

Calligraphy Workshop with Christine Robinson

  • 27 February 2016 10am-4pm

Discover the fundamental principles of calligraphy. Learn the foundational script using a dip pen and ink, and explore how to construct letters through demonstrations and individual practice. With personalised support, you’ll create a bookmark, greetings card or short quotation. Plus take home all the equipment you’ll need to put your new skills into action!

Tickets: £55 per person, booking is essential as spaces are strictly limited.
To book call 01733 864 663 or email museum@vivacity-peterborough.com for more information.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£55 per person

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/calligraphy-workshop-with-christine-robinson

the view of a lake surrounded by trees looking through the leaves of tree on a bright sunny day

'Capability' Brown and the Gift of Landscape

  • 3 March 2016 From 7:30pm

Part of the "What did the Georgians ever do for us?" lecture series. A talk by Steffie Shields. 2016 marks 300 years since the birth of 'Capability' Brown. Discover the life and work of this extraordinary Georgian garden designer - his natural style of landscape creation and his architecture - as well as his local work.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets £5 Adults, £4 concessions

Stuart era witch bottle

Time Travellers returns!

  • 29 — 31 March 2016
  • 5 — 6 April 2016 10:30am-12:30pm
  • 7 April 2016 From 10:30am

In the return of last year’s hugely popular Time Travellers!, join us this Easter for a workshop with a difference! Try your hand at making witch bottles to ward off evil like the Stuarts, recreate Georgian healing waters and turn modern-day celebrities into Victorian silhouettes – and discover how we know about these curious activities from the past!

£5 per child, accompanying adults free
Booking is essential as spaces are limited. To book call 01733 864 663.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 5-6

Admission

£5 per child, accompanying adults free

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/time-travellers-returns

Contemporary Georgian painting of Peterborough market square, Peterborough Cathedral can be seen in the background

Georgian Peterborough Walk

  • 3 April 2016 2-3:30pm

An often neglected part of Peterborough’s past, the Georgian period had a big impact on the city. The tour looks at some of the surviving (and missing!) Georgian buildings, as well as intriguing stories such as how Peterborough ended up on a ‘Grand Tour’, and why a set of bells saved the local MPs life…

The tour will take place whatever the weather, starting from outside Peterborough Museum, Priestgate. Tickets are £5 adults, £3 concessions (children, seniors, full time students). To book tickets contact Peterborough Museum on 01733 864 663.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 adults, £3 concessions

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/georgian-peterborough-walk

Photo showing the original Georgian Mansion

Pride, Prejudice & Priestgate Mansion

  • 17 April 2016 10am-5pm

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the building which now houses Peterborough Museum. To celebrate we’re returning it to its heyday as a Georgian mansion for one day only! From Regency dance demonstrations, to puppet shows there’ll be Georgian entertainment perfect for all ages!

£4 adults, £3 concessions, £12 families, under 5s free. There’s no need to book for this event, just drop in!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£4 adults, £3 concessions, £12 families, under 5's free

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/pride-prejudice-and-priestgate-mansion

A curator delicately attends to the green jewels that adorn a cream Georgian gown

Caring for Costume

  • 23 April 2016 10:30am-12:30pm

As part of the Pride, Prejudice & Peterborough exhibition, fine examples of Georgian costume from the Museum’s collection will be showcased. This exciting new workshop offers a unique chance to get closer to the Museum’s historic costume collection with the experts who care for it. See pieces not on display in the exhibition, and look in detail at how the diverse items are looked after to ensure they remain in the best condition.

There will also be an opportunity to get hands-on with packing costume and to pick up tips on how to store any precious items you own.

£10 adults, £8 concessions; booking is essential as spaces are strictly limited.
To book call 01733 864 663.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£10 adults, £8 concessions

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/caring-for-costume

Contemporary portrait of John Clare seated on a wooden chair.

The Manuscripts of John Clare

  • 27 April 2016 6:30-8:30pm

Join us for this special evening with the city’s Archivist to explore the manuscripts of local romantic poet John Clare. The Peterborough Archives Service cares for a large collection of Clare’s original work, many of which are not on display due to conservation concerns. This event offers a rare opportunity to see these manuscripts up close and learn more about them from the people who care for them. There will also be the chance to visit the Museum’s Pride, Prejudice and Peterborough exhibition, to discover what the city would have been like during Clare’s lifetime.

Tickets: £10 adults, £8 concessions; booking is essential as spaces are strictly limited.
To book call 01733 864 663.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10 adults, £8 concessions

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/the-manuscripts-of-john-clare

Getting there

The Museum is in Peterborough city centre, a very short walk (a minute or two) from city centre shops and the Cathedral. It is also a two minute walk from the bus station. Peterborough train station is on the East Coast mainline, and the Museum is a short walk (less than 5 minutes) along a signposted route from the station. Peterborough is conveniently located just off the A1. Follow signs towards the city centre and use city centre car parks. There is limited disabled parking available on-site.

Peterborough Museum
Priestgate
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE1 1LF
England

Website

E-mail

All enquiries

museum@vivacity-peterborough.com

Telephone

All enquiries

01733 864663

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