The Egypt Centre houses an important collection of Egyptian antiquities. The museum, officially opened in September 1998, has a collection of over 3,000 Egyptian antiquities once owned by the manufacturing pharmacist Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936).
The museum comprises of two galleries called The House of Life and The House of Death as well as a gift shop.
There are over 5000 items in the collection. Most of them were collected by the pharmacist Sir Henry Wellcome. Others came to us from: the British Museum; the Royal Edinburgh Museum; National Museums and Galleries of Wales Cardiff; the Royal Albert Museum and Art Gallery, Woking College and also private donors.
Sir Henry Wellcome collected items from excavations. Included in the Egypt Centre collection are items from Armant, Amarna, Deir el-Medina, Esna, Mostagedda, Qau, etc. Additionally he collected items from individuals. These included Robert de Rustafjaell, Gayner-Anderson, Berens, Cesnola, Rev. William Frankland Hood and the Rev. William MacGregor.
There is a cafe/coffee shop adjacent to the museum.
Museum, Archaeological site
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm (extended summer hours: 31st July-31st August 10:00am to 5:00pm)
Last admission 10 minutes before closing time.
Not open Sundays, Mondays or Bank Holidays.
£2 a head for school party and group organised hands-on activities (£2.50 on Saturday)
£1 a head specially organised open hours guided tours
£2 a head evening guided tours
Conference rates and corporate booking rates available on request
The collection consists of some 3,000 Egyptian antiquities and covers the time span of c4000 BC- AD 500. Some 250 objects derive from the Egyptian Exploration Fund excavations at Tell el-Amarna, as well as Armant. Objects include the painted coffin of a lady musician from Thebes, beautiful bead necklaces from the time of Tutankhamun and a mummified crocodile.
Items from this collection
Archaeology, Costume and Textiles, Design, Medicine, Personalities, Religion, Science and Technology, Social History, Sport, Toys and Hobbies, Trade and Commerce, Weapons and War, World Cultures
Key artists and exhibits
- As well as the objects, there are various hands-on activities for children young and old. This includes dressing up and learning about the picture writing, hieroglyphs, and calculating using the ancient Egyptian maths and measuring systems. Visitors enjoy playing the game of senet, which was a popular Egyptian board game. Visitors are allowed to handle real ancient Egyptian objects some are 50,000 years old! Children enjoy learning the art of mummification and pull the brain and organs out of a model mummy and bandage it. We have noticed adults go a bit pale but children love this activity! They also make clay food offerings for the mummy.