Museum of Wigan Life

Museum of Wigan Life
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Following a £1.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment, the award-winning Museum of Wigan Life (formerly The History Shop) opened to the public, offering a fantastic opportunity for learning and discovery.

The Museum of Wigan Life is housed in Wigan’s first public library and first public building with electric lighting. Alfred Waterhouse designed the building, which opened in 1878. He also designed the Natural History Museum in London and Manchester Town Hall. In 1936 George Orwell researched his book 'The Road to Wigan Pier' in the Reference Library (now Family History and Local Studies) upstairs.

Discover the people and places of Wigan borough, past and present at the Museum of Wigan Life. Lively displays on everything from sport to world war and from music to festivals in Wigan, Leigh and across the borough.

Do you know the tale of Mab’s Cross?
Who is our most famous ukulele player?
And why is Wigan so famous for pies?

You’ll find all the answers and more in our main gallery. Our special exhibitions explore aspects of local history from rugby league to the mysterious sport of clog fighting.

The museum especially welcomes families. Trails for children age 7-11 are available on reception, and the special exhibition has children’s activities. We host a varied and exciting programme of events for adults and families. Please visit our website to find out what is in store! www.wlct.org/wigan/museums-archives

The Museum of Wigan Life Shop offers a huge range of products from miners lamps to the popular ‘I Love Wigan Pie’ range – now featuring handcrafted mugs and teaspoon rests. Try our specialist maps for the family historian or chose a bag of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Monday 9:00 - 2:00
Tuesday 9:00 - 2:00
Wednesday 9:00 - 2:00
Thursday 12.00 - 17.00
Friday 12.00 - 17.00
Saturday 9:00 - 2:00
Sunday Closed

Closed: Sundays
Bank Holidays

Admission charges

Free

Getting there

The museum is at the end of Library Street, five minutes walk from Wigan town centre and 10 minutes walk from Wigan Wallgate and Wigan Northern Western train stations and Wigan bus station. There is very limited parking outside the museum but there is a multi-storey at the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Music, Natural Sciences, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Childs Play A Celebration of Childhood Exhibition

  • 3 April 2018 — 31 January 2019 *on now

Currently on display is our new temporary exhibition Childs Play covering from how life was like as a child in the Victorian era, from schooling to working life. We have lots of interactions from a school room setup, dressing up and putting your own puppet show on! plus much more. A must see exhibition!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free exhibition

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.

Chinese Celebrations - FREE February Half - Term Activities

  • 19 February 2019 12:30-2pm
  • 21 February 2019 12:30-2pm

Half term is packed full of family fun with our traditional Chinese craft and costume. Try your hand at painting, calligraphy and paper cutting, and then get dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes.

FREE drop-in sessions – no booking required.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

FREE - Drop in Sessions - no booking required

Chinese New Year

  • 26 — 27 February 2019 11am-2pm

Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th January 2019
A full weekend of FREE family activities!

Saturday 26th January 2019
11am - 2pm Free family activities at the Museum
11.30am - Martial Arts Performance at the Grand Arcade
12.30pm - Lion Dance at the Market Place
1.30 pm - Lion Dance and performance at the Museum of Wigan Life

Join us for an extravaganza of FREE family fun as we celebrate the
10th Anniversary of the Confucius Classroom with music, dancing, costume and craft. Watch the fabulous Chinese dancers throughout the town centre before a special finale at the museum. No booking required.

Sunday 27th January 2019 11am – 2pm
Come to the Museum for day packed full of family fun with our traditional Chinese craft and costume. Try your hand at lantern making, calligraphy, paper cutting, and then get dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes. FREE. No booking required.

With support from the Confucius Classroom, Wigan and Leigh College

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

FREE – no booking required.

Getting there

The museum is at the end of Library Street, five minutes walk from Wigan town centre and 10 minutes walk from Wigan Wallgate and Wigan Northern Western train stations and Wigan bus station. There is very limited parking outside the museum but there is a multi-storey at the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

Museum of Wigan Life
Library Street
Wigan
Greater Manchester
WN1 1NU
England

Website

E-mail

wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

Telephone

01942 828128

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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