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.
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/

Lauren Mackay

The Queen's Champions: Katharine of Aragon and her Ambassadors

  • 28 January 2017 7:30-8:30pm

Perceptions of Henry's first queen are often influenced by his Great Matter, but Katharine of Aragon’s relationships with her ambassadors, recorded in their numerous reports, reveal the true Katharine - her wit, vulnerability, and passionate nature.

This talk will explore the Tudor queen through the eyes of these ambassadors – men whose reports are often overlooked, but who offer insights into lesser known elements of her character. Many of their reports and correspondences survive in archives, and these original letters bring us even closer to these larger than life individuals.

Lauren Mackay is an historian of the 16th Century. Her debut book ‘Inside the Tudor Court’ explores this much-studied time through the records of Eustace Chapuys . The despatches of this Ambassador to Spain have shaped much of our knowledge of Henry VIII’s court, and the book explores the man behind the letters. Books will be available for purchase after the talk.

Admission

£6, £4 concessions, including light refreshments and a chance to explore the ‘Tremendous Tudors’ exhibition. Booking is recommended as places are limited, call 01733 864663 for more information.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/katharine-and-her-ambassadors/

Tudors

At Home with the Tudors

  • 28 — 29 January 2017 10am-5pm

Travel back in time to the 1500s, with a chance to meet Tudor characters such as the Barber Surgeon with his gruesome cures. Mind your manners with a Tudor lady, handle arms and armour with our soldiers and try some period food, take part in family activities and crafts with a Tudor theme.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£4 adults, £3 concessions, £12 families, under 5s FREE

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/at-home-with-the-tudors/

Tudor Walk

Tudor Peterborough Walk

  • 29 January 2017 2-3pm

Explore Peterborough’s historic city centre with a costumed guide and find out what the city was like during the time of Katharine of Aragon. The tour then enters Peterborough Cathedral where you will hear about the funeral of Katharine of Aragon and other stories from its Tudor history.
The 60 minute tour will end in time for a short break before Choral Evensong, at 3.30pm, for those who would like to stay.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£6, £4 children under 16. Early booking advised as limited availability.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/tudor-peterborough-walk/

Peterborough Cathedral

Forgotten Funeral: Peterborough & Mary Queen of Scots

  • 2 February 2017 7:30-8:30pm

We commemorate annually the burial of Katharine of Aragon in Peterborough, but often forget that she was not the only Queen buried here in the Tudor period. But what were the circumstances of Mary’s death? Why was she buried here, only to be later exhumed and moved to London? This illustrated talk will examine these questions and Mary's remarkable story.

Admission

£5 adults, £4 concessions. Early booking is advised as there is limited availability.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/forgotten-funeral-peterborough-mary-queen-of-scots/

Rutland Renaissance Dancers

Dancing with the Tudors!

  • 8 February 2017 7-9pm

Come to Peterborough Museum to enjoy an evening of social dance with our workshop. Watch and learn how people used to dance in the Tudor era with a performance of expert historical dancers in period costumes and join them as you learn the steps. No dance experience is needed since you will learn all the steps from the very beginning. You can also find out more about how people used to dress in Tudor times. Take pictures, dance and enjoy with music from the 16th century.

Tickets include light refreshments. Early booking is advised as there is limited availability.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£10 adults, £8 concessions

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/dancing-with-the-tudors/

P & S Talk

Tudor & Stuart Peterborough

  • 9 February 2017 7:30-8:30pm

The reign of the Tudors and Stuarts marks one of the most turbulent times in our city’s history, with the closing of the Abbey and the English Civil War. Discover how we faired during these years – plus hear Peterborough’s connections to royalty!

Admission

£5 adults, £4 concessions. Early booking is advised as there is limited availability.Call 01733 864663 for more information.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/tudor-stuart-peterborough/

Disease talk

Disease, Doom and Death: The Ills of the Tudor Age

  • 16 February 2017 7:30-8:30pm

Find out about some of the unpleasant diseases that plagued Tudor people. Discover how the attitudes of the time affected the way people viewed illnesses and the ill - and the extreme and sometimes bizarre lengths they'd go to, to achieve a cure!

Admission

Tickets £5 adults, £4 concessions. Early booking advised as limited availability. Call 01733 864663 for more information.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/disease-doom-and-death-the-ills-of-the-tudor-age/

Tudor walk

Tudor & Stuart Peterborough Walk

  • 19 February — 19 March 2017

Discover the fascinating, dramatic and often gory stories from one of the best-known and most turbulent periods in our history! Accompany your costumed guide around the streets to discover the often hidden buildings that still survive from this period, hear stories of the Queens buried in the Cathedral, and grimace at the ghastly tale of when the plague came to Peterborough.

Early booking is advised as there is limited availability.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 adults, £3 children under 16. Early booking advised as limited availability.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/tudor-stuart-peterborough-walk/

Elizabeth Tudor

The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor

  • 23 February 2017 7:30-8:30pm

It is late 1547 and Henry VIII is dead. His 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the old king's widow Catherine Parr and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Ambitious, charming and dangerous, Seymour begins an overt flirtation with Elizabeth and is eventually arrested for treason. The Seymour scandal led to the creation of the Virgin Queen. Elizabeth survives the scandal. Thomas Seymour is not so lucky and his fate remained with her. She would never allow her heart to rule her head again.

Admission

Tickets £5 adults, £4 concessions. Early booking advised as limited availability. Call 01733 864663 for more information.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/the-temptation-of-elizabeth-tudor/

Henry VIII

Henry VIII: The Quest for an Heir

  • 2 March 2017 7:30-8:30pm

Producing an heir obsessed all the Tudor monarchs, for the future of a fragile dynasty was at stake. In the case of Henry VIII we usually focus on the pregnancy history of his wives, but not on Henry’s own issues with fertility. This lecture will look at his anxieties, and the resources—medical, religious, political—on which he drew to secure a male heir.

Admission

Tickets £5 adults, £4 concessions. Early booking advised as limited availability. Call 01733 864663 for more information.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/henry-viii-the-quest-for-an-heir/

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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