Peterborough Museum

Peterborough Museum Building
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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.
Thomas Cook Exhibition

Wish You Were Here family tours

  • 8 October — 10 December 2016 *on now

Join our costumed guide to take a tour of the Wish You Were Here exhibition exploring 175 years of travel with Thomas Cook!

Perfect for families, this ~30 minute tour offers the chance to discover the story of holidays over the last 175 years and learn what tourists use to look forward to on their holidays!

Every 2nd Saturday of the month, Oct-Dec 2016

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2 per person, under 2s free

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/wish-you-were-here/

Advent Calendar

Christmas Countdown

  • 26 November 2016 — 11 February 2018 *on now

Start your countdown to Christmas in style and make an advent calendar garland with decorative paper, vintage festive images and ribbons! Then you can fill it at home with your own choice of festive treats!

Suitable for ages 5+.

Admission

£5 per person

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/advent-calendar-workshop/

Present

All wrapped up!

  • 11 December 2016 10am-4pm

Make your presents extra special this year with handmade wrapping. With potato printed paper, unique tags and origami bows, you’ll have Christmas all wrapped up! Suitable for ages 5+.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5 per child; accompanying adults free

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/christmas-2016/all-wrapped-up/

Candlelit tour

Peterborough Museum Candlelit tour

  • 13 December 2016 From 7:30pm

Explore Peterborough’s most haunted building by candlelight.

Hear about the ghost of the lonely ANZAC and visit our haunted cellar – if you dare!

Due to limited availability pre-booking is essential. Please email museum@vivacity-peterborough, call 01733 864663 or pop into the museum to book your place.

Access is limited so please call in advance for more information. Not recommended for under 14s (all children must be accompanied).

Admission

£5 adults, £3 children

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/christmas-2016/christmas-spooky-stuff/

Enchanted Christmas

The Enchanted Christmas Museum

  • 17 — 22 December 2016

As Santa will be busy this festive season travelling around libraries for ‘Stories with Santa’, all of the final preparations and jobs have been left to us elves!

We are hoping to enrol some honorary elves to help us at The Enchanted Christmas Museum where we have set up our workshop.

Our Christmas elves will show you how to make your own snowflakes in their busy workshop.

Help Mrs Claus prepare Santa’s favourite drink in her Christmas kitchen. She might even let you try some!

Join us by the festive fireplace for magical storytelling!

17th December & 22nd December, 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)

There is no need to book for this event, just drop in.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£4 per person, under 2s free.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/christmas-2016/family-days/

Wreath

Festive Floristry Workshop

  • 18 December 2016 10am-1pm

Design and make a Christmas wreath and festive candle arrangement. Our experienced florist will guide you through the techniques used to make a luxury decorative wreath and festive candle arrangement for your home or to give as a gift.

All materials provided but please bring your own snips or strong scissors. Over 16s only.

Booking in advance is essential for this special Christmas workshop. Email Museum@vivacity-peterborough.com, call 01773 864663 or pop into the Museum to book your place.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£30 per person.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/christmas-2016/festive-floristry/

Ghost walks

Peterborough Ghost Walk

  • 20 December 2016 From 7:30pm

Be spellbound by our haunted heritage with an ever-popular ghost walk.

Find out about phantom monks, a slaughtered cavalier and even a ghostly lorry!

Pre-booking is advisable for this highly popular tour which is not recommended for under 8s (all children must be accompanied).

Meet outside Peterborough Museum

Please email museum@vivacity-peterborough, call 01733 864663 or pop into the museum to book your place.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5 adults, £3 children

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/christmas-2016/christmas-spooky-stuff/

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

www.vivacity-peterborough.com/museums-and-heritage/peterborough-museum/

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.
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