The Old Gaol
Ely Museum is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Ely, dating from the 13th Century, it has been a private house, a Tavern, a Registry Office & the Bishop's Goal. Sensitively renovated in 1997, much of the buildings history can still be seen, including prisoners graffiti, hidden doorways and original planking on the walls. Visitors can enjoy the attractive and secluded courtyard before and after their visit.
Displays include geology, archaeology and the local history of Ely and the surrounding fenland.
The gift shop sells many gift items and toys as well as local history publications. Special events and exhibitions are held throughout the year, including finds and identification afternoons, living history days, children's craft activities and a programme of talks. Schools should contact the Education Officer about the wide variety of workshops available.
Summer - Mon-Sat: 10.30-17.00 (Sun: 13.00-17.00)
Winter - Mon-Sat*: 10.30-16.00 (Sun: 13.00-16.00)
Closed: Christmas & New Year
Tuesdays during winter
Standard Admission: £3.50 each
Concessions: £2.50 each
Accompanied Children: Free
Friends of Ely Museum: Free
- Museums Association
The Old Gaol is situated on the corner of Lynn Road and Market Street, 150 metres from the Cathedral.
Ely Museum has a level front entrance, an accesible toilet and a stairlift to the upper floor. There are chairs throughout the Museum for visitors.
Quiz sheets are available for children visiting the Museum.
Guided tours are available by appointment.
The displays include fossils from marine dinosaurs, prehistoric tools and weapons, Roman pottery and Anglo Saxon jewellery. An archive film shows methods of farming in the past, and the Debtors and Condemned Cells show visitors what the Bishops' Gaol was really like. The Cambridgeshire Regiment Collection display includes two of the Singapore Drums, and tells the traumatic story of the Regiment's imprisonment by the Japanese during World War Two.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Law and Order, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Trade and Commerce, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Marine fossils
- Prehistoric tools and weapons
- Roman pottery
- Anglo Saxon jewellery
- Farming history
- Cambridgeshire Regiment Collection including two of the Singapore Drums