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/

Two Bronze Age metal swords or dirks against a black background

Bronze Age metalwork

  • 20 January 2018 10am-1pm

This workshop provides an exclusive chance to get up close to a variety of Bronze Age artefacts, with experienced Bronze Age metalwork specialist Rachel Crellin.

Discover how material is excavated, the development of bronze in prehistoric times, the way Bronze Age people used metal, and what it can tell us about their lives. Get closer than ever before to the Museum's Bronze Age metal collection in this unique workshop, where you'll also be able to handle replica items.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Booking is essential for all our workshops. All bookings for this event are taken through Peterborough Museum.

To book, please click the link https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/heritage-booking/ or call Peterborough Museum at 01733 864663. If you require any further information, please call the Museum or email museum@vivacity-peterborough.com

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/collections-workshops/bronze-age-metalwork/

Tudor Peterborough

Tudor Peterborough Walk

  • 26 January 2018 2-4pm
  • 28 January 2018 2-4pm

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. Meet at Peterborough Museum.

For the full programme see http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/katharine2018.aspx.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£6, £4 under 16s

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/katharine-of-aragon-festival/tudor-peterborough-walk/

Lauren Mackay

In the Shadow of the Throne: the rise and fall of the Boleyn men

  • 27 January 2018 From 7:30pm

Anne Boleyn dominates the Tudor period, and her story has been re told and re imagined over the centuries. Yet two of the most important and influential men of her life- her father Thomas and brother George- have been vilified, marginalised, and forgotten. This talk aims to re-evaluate the Boleyn men, beyond the traditional stereotypes that have been unfairly assigned to them, and restore them to their rightful place in Tudor history.

Visit http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/katharine2018.aspx for the full programme.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£6, £4 concessions, including light refreshments

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/katharine-of-aragon-festival/in-the-shadow-of-the-throne-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-boleyn-men/

tudor kitchen

At Home with the Tudors

  • 27 — 28 January 2018 10am-5pm

Travel back in time to the 1500s at Peterborough Museum, 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.

Last entry 4pm. Visit http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/katharine2018.aspx for the full programme of the Katharine of Aragon Festival.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 children, £4 adults, £12 families

Website

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

Troops arriving in Peterborough 09/12/17, 9th December 1917, during World War I, WWI, First World War

Great War Talks: "Just Passing Through"

  • 29 January 2018 7:30-9pm

Oral History specialist Beverley Jones shares images and stories from the Women's United Total Abstinence Council (WUTAC) visitors' books. These slim volumes contain poems, sketches and messages which offer a fascinating insight into the servicemen who passed through Peterborough's East Station on their way to and from the front in 1916 and 1917.

Held alongside the exhibition 'The Soldiers' and Sailors' Rest' at Peterborough Museum, this series of fascinating talks will explore wider themes of the Great War in the final year of its centenary.

Admission

£5 adults, £4 concessions

Website

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

Three needle hitched pots, woven, sewn, sewing, knitting, hitching, Anglo-Saxon

Needle hitching workshop

  • 3 February 2018 From 10am

Dating back over 7,000 years, needle hitching is a technique of tying half hitch knots.

This can be used to make fabric items such as socks, hats, bowls and mats. In this workshop, you will make a small pot from the ancient fibre flax cord, using a needle made from antler. This needle is yours to take home to put your new skills into use!

Suitable for over 16s only.

Booking is essential for all our workshops. All bookings for this event are taken through Peterborough Museum. To book, please click https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/heritage-booking/, or call Peterborough Museum at 01733 864663. If you require any further information, please call the Museum or email flag.fen@vivacity-peterborough.com

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£25 per person

Website

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

German helmet and barbed wire from World War 1, WWI, First World War

Great War Talks: "The First World War in 100 Objects"

  • 5 February 2018 7:30-9pm

Held alongside the exhibition 'The Soldiers' and Sailors' Rest' at Peterborough Museum, this series of fascinating talks will explore wider themes of the Great War in the final year of its centenary.

Peter Doyle is an author specialising in the British experience, and material culture, of war. In his book, First World War in 100 Objects, he examines the conflict from artefacts that ultimately mean something to people, and which, with correct interpretation, can be shown to mean something to very many more.

Admission

£5 adults, £4 concessions

Website

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

Day school Roman history school, Peterborough, pot, vase, ancient

Day School: Roman Peterborough

  • 10 February 2018 10am-4:30pm

Join Professor Stephen Upex, the pre-eminent authority on the Romans in the East of England, for our first ‘Day School’.

A Day School is the perfect opportunity to gain privileged access to collections in the company of experts and fellow enthusiasts. Focusing on Roman Peterborough, this day will offer the chance for discussion and hands-on exploration.

The full programme will be available here in due course. Don’t forget to bring your note book! Lunch is included in the price of the Day School.

Booking is essential for all our workshops. All bookings for this event are taken through Peterborough Museum.

To book, please click https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/heritage-booking/, or call Peterborough Museum at 01733 864663. If you require any further information, please call the Museum or email museum@vivacity-peterborough.com

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£50 per person

Small boy with a hat

Secret Agents

  • 12 — 16 February 2018

During World War I, both sides tried to find out secret information about the enemy. From code-cracking, to spies in enemy territory there were lots of ‘tricks of the trade’. This half term, Peterborough Museum asks - do you have what it takes to be a secret agent? Find hidden clues, decode messages and identify friend from foe before it’s too late! This is a drop-in event, but you can buy your ticket online in advance to skip the queues and head straight to the front lines. Last entry 4:00pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 Children, £4 Adults, £12 Families

Website

https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/whatson/heritage/secret-agents-feb-half-term/

Stow Maries Aerodrome

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

  • 19 February 2018 7:30-9:30pm

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

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/

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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