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.
ghost walk

Peterborough Christmas Ghost Walk

  • 19 December 2017 — 19 December 2018 *on now

It was the Victorians who first started the tradition of seasonal spine-chillers. This Christmas, explore the city’s spooky side! 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! Booking is advisable for this popular tour. Not recommended for under 8s (all children must be accompanied).

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5 adults, £3 under 16s

Website

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

Stow Maries Aerodrome

Great War Talks: Stow Maries Aerodrome: Its place in history

  • 19 February 2018 7:30-9:30pm *on now

Stow Maries Aerodrome was established in September 1916 and for two years it played a pivotal role in helping defend against attacks by German zeppelin airships and Gotha fixed wing bombers. Forgotten for many years, it remains Europe’s best-preserved WWI aerodrome. Join Ian Flint, CEO of the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Trust, to hear about their ongoing major conservation project. With recent lottery funding, the future of this unique slice of history looks bright.

Booking advised, call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 adults, £4 concessions

Website

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

Skeletons in situ in their graves

Medieval Cambridge: Discovering the lives of the invisible poor through their skeletons

  • 22 February 2018 7:30-9:30pm

How do we learn about historical people whose lives were not recorded in writing? An innovative new study reconstructs the biographies of ordinary working poor people from medieval Cambridge.

This is part of the Flag Fen Archaeology Lectures held each spring at Flag Fen Archaeology Park. They explore new and exciting archaeological developments, research projects and excavations.

Booking is advised for these popular talks. Remaining tickets will be sold on the door.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 adults £4 concessions

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/flag-fen-archaeology-lectures/

Page of Calligraphy

Foundational Calligraphy Workshop

  • 25 February 2018 10am-4pm

Discover the fundamental principles of calligraphy in this workshop perfect for beginners. 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! Lunch is included in the cost of the workshop. Booking is essential. Call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£55. Includes lunch.

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/historical-skills-workshops/calligraphy-workshop/

First World War Cartoon of two seated soldiers

Great War Talks: The English Language and the First World War

  • 26 February 2018 From 7:30pm

'Languages of the front' became souvenirs of the war, abandoned by soldiers but taken up by academics, memoir writers and commentators, leaving an indelible mark on the words we use even today. First World War expert Julian Walker looks at how the conflict shaped English and its relationship with other languages. There will also be a book signing after the talk.

Booking advised. Call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864663.

Admission

£5 Adults, £4 concessions

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/the-great-war-talks/

archaeological excavation

Transporting the past into the future: the archaeology of the Lincoln East Bypass

  • 1 March 2018 7:30-9:30pm

Mesolithic to post medieval. what could finds near the River Witham tell us about the regional and national importance of the river with regards to transport?

This is part of the Flag Fen Archaeology Lectures held each spring at Flag Fen Archaeology Park. They explore new and exciting archaeological developments, research projects and excavations.

Booking is advised for these popular talks. Remaining tickets will be sold on the door.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 adults £4 concessions

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/flag-fen-archaeology-lectures/

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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