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

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
An archaeologist's trowel breaks ground at the Must Farm excavation

Behind the scenes: Making the Must Farm Exhibition

  • 17 May 2017 7-9pm

Join us for an evening with our exhibition team to discover what it really takes to condense a couple of millennia of previously undiscovered history into 80m2 of gallery space. From the design process to the conservation of objects, come with us on our experts’ journey from empty room to ground breaking exhibition. There will also be a chance to explore our exhibition, featuring fascinating excavated artefacts that have never before been on public display. Light refreshments are included. Early booking recommended.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£6 adults, £5 concessions

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com

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.
Enamel Jewellery

Enamel Jewellery

  • 1 April 2017 10am-4pm

Create beautiful enamel jewellery in this one-day workshop. Join contemporary jewellery designer Louise Denney to learn the basics of enamelling including how to prepare the metal, apply enamels, kiln fire the enamels and how to decorate. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have turned your design into a unique piece of jewellery.

Copper shapes will be used for enamelling. If you wish to use your own silver, please bring it along.

Booking is strongly recommended. Tickets are available from Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663.

Admission

£50

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/arts-and-heritage/spring-workshops-2017/enamel-jewellery/

Child looking at the skeleton of a prehistoric water creature in a case

Time Travellers

  • 11 — 13 April 2017
  • 18 — 20 April 2017

Easter sees the return of our popular Time Travellers family workshops. This year we’re travelling even further back – to the time of the dinosaurs! Discover what the Jurassic was really like and use our fascinating fossils to find out about the beasts which roamed Peterborough.

Early booking strongly recommended for these 2-hour sessions. 10:30-12:30.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£5 per child, accompanying adults free. To book call Peterborough Museum, 01733 864663

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/

Two men holding teddy bears

The Bedtime Project

  • 13 April 2017 From 6:30pm

Join us in the land of nod for an evening of bedtime stories, inspired by your ideas. Bring your pyjamas, your teddy bear (not compulsory) and your imaginations and we’ll go on an adventure before lights out. Get ready for bed with brand new tales, songs and rhymes created in front of your eyes. Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Ages 4+. Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£9 per person. To book, call Peterborough Museum, 01733 864663.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/

Children carrying out craft activities

Easter Eggstravaganza

  • 15 April 2017 10am-5pm

Join us at Peterborough Museum for a one day only Easter Eggstravaganza! There’ll be lots of family fun with an Easter egg hunt, face painting, young explorers storytelling, egg decorating and Easter card making – plus discover who we have to thank for our Easter traditions today.

There’s no need to book, just drop in. Last entry 4:00pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3 children, £4 adults, £12 families. To book call Peterborough Museum, 01733 864 663

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/

Two men and a woman standing holding musical instruments

Gig in the Gallery: Georgia Shackleton Trio

  • 22 April 2017 From 7:30pm

The Georgia Shackleton Trio perform an exclusive gig in the gallery space of Peterborough Museum’s stunning Georgian building. Influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with an East Anglian twist, the group combines wonderful vocals with fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Having toured the UK, Belgian and Netherlands, their blend of Americana, folk and self-penned material is sure to get the gallery going!

Drinks will be available for sale on the night

Booking essential. Doors from 7:30pm, music from 8:00pm.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10 per person. To book call Peterborough Museum, 01733 864663

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/

Four costumed tour guides stand on a grand Georgian staircase looking sinister

Candlelit tour of Peterborough Museum

  • 19 May 2017 7:30-9pm

Dare you spend an evening in a haunted building, by candlelight alone? Peterborough Museum is reputedly the most haunted building in the city, many ghosts said to lurk around its corridors. Led by a costumed guide, this tour sets out to uncover some of their stories.

Not recommended for those under 14 or of a nervous disposition. Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5 adults, £3 children

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com

Cocktail shaker laid out next to a champagne glass with twist of lemon

Cocktail Masterclass

  • 20 May 2017 7:30-9:30pm

Join us for an evening at the Museum with a difference. Under the tuition of our expert mixologist, you’ll learn the history and practice behind classic cocktails. Then get hands-on and use different techniques and equipment to make (and drink!) delicious handcrafted cocktails. Over 18s only. Booking essential.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£40 per person

Website

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com

Orange Lizard

Zoo-seum Returns

  • 30 May — 2 June 2017

By popular demand, ZOO-seum is back for May half term and the animals have taken over again. On Tuesday and Wednesday discover the secret world of your pets and get up close to rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoise and more! Then come back on Thursday or Friday to explore the exotic with lizards and snakes from far flung places - plus some manic meerkats!

There’s no need to book, just drop in. 10:00am-5:00pm. Last entry 4:00pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3 children, £4 adults, £12 families. To book call Peterborough Museum, 01733 864 663

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/

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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