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.
Page of Calligraphy

Foundational Calligraphy Workshop

  • 2 February 2019 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
  • 18+

Admission

£55 per person. Includes lunch.

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/historical-skills-workshops/calligraphy-workshop/

An operating theatre table in a darkened room

Theatre of Screams

  • 20 — 21 October 2018 5:45-10pm *on now
  • 25 — 26 October 2018 5:45-10pm
  • 28 October 2018 5:45-10pm
  • 31 October — 4 November 2018

You wake up on a dark Halloween’s night, chained to the wall in an operating theatre. Your friend is chained to the operating table and it becomes clear you are not alone. Can your team escape before you become the next victim?

Strictly over 18s and not recommended for the fainthearted, people with heart conditions or pregnant women. This is our scariest Halloween experience yet!

To book please visit: www.escape-peterborough.co.uk/book-now

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£15 per person

Website

https://www.escape-peterborough.co.uk/book-now

Ghostly characters from the Priestgate Vaults

An Evening at the Priestgate Vaults

  • 24 October 2018 7-8pm
  • 14 November 2018 7-8pm
  • 12 December 2018 7-8pm

Dare you enter...? Explore layers of history and meet people from the past, associated with the building which now houses Peterborough Museum.

The Priestgate Vaults are the historic cellars under Peterborough Museum, revealing 500 years of history from this building and the city.

The cellars have original features, including windows from the Tudor house, the Georgian wine cellar, coal cellar and a room we used as an air raid shelter during World War II. But they also have a sinister side, being part of Peterborough's most haunted building. So we recommend they are not suitable for those aged under 8 or of a nervous disposition!

To book please call the Museum on 01733 864 663 or book online: https://vivacity.org/heritage-booking/ For more information, emails museum@vivacity.org

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£4 adults, £3 under 16s

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/halloween/

Ghost walk tour guide leading a group through Peterborough Cathedral precincts

Halloween Ghost Walks

  • 26 October 2018 7:30-9pm, 8-9:30pm
  • 27 October 2018 7:30-9pm, 8-9:30pm
  • 28 October 2018 7:30-9pm, 8-9:30pm
  • 31 October 2018 7:30-9pm, 8-9:30pm

European Luxury Travel Guide’s ‘Unique Experience of the Year - 2018'.

Stalk the streets this Halloween with our costumed guide to discover the eerie secrets of Peterborough's most spooky locations. Listen closely to the city's more morbid tales and keep an eye out for any ghastly apparitions who may appear as they hear their stories told...

Not recommended for children under 8 or those of a nervous disposition. Tours last around 100 minutes.

To book call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864 663, or book online: https://www.vivacity.org/heritage-booking/

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5 Adults, £3 under 16s

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/halloween/

Lantern on wooden barrel against a white brick wall

Halloween Horror Night

  • 27 October 2018 6:30-7:30pm, 7-8pm, 7:30-8:30pm, 8-9pm, 8:30-9:30pm, 9-10pm

Prepare to be entertained, enthralled and downright scared by a night of dramatised tours around the Museum! Hear about some of the Museum's ghostly stories by candlelight......but prepare to jump as the stories come to life using costume actors, projections and other effects. One of our scariest events this Halloween season, and as such not recommended for under 14s, the nervous or unwary!

Tours set off every half hour from 6.30pm and last just under an hour, strictly pre-booked in advance. Pre-booking is essential, as places are limited.

To book, call Peterborough Museum on 01733 864 663, or book online here: https://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/heritage-booking/

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£8 Adults, £6 under 16s

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/halloween/

Hooded figure holding a lantern

Peterborough Museum Candlelit Tour

  • 30 October 2018 From 7:30pm, 7:30-9pm
  • 13 November 2018 7:30-9pm
  • 27 November 2018 7:30-9pm
  • 11 December 2018 7:30-9pm

The museum is reputedly one of the most haunted sites in Peterborough, with many ghosts said to be lurking around the building.

This tour sets out to uncover some of their stories. The tour is led by a costumed guide, who shows visitors around the building by candlelight, explaining the various paranormal happenings at the sites where they have taken place, including the back stairs, where people have reported a ghostly servant falling to her death, a phantom girl seen and heard in recent months, the story of the museum’s most notorious ghost, the ‘Lonely ANZAC’ Thomas Hunter.

Due to limited places, tickets are strictly pre-booked only. Tours last about 90 minutes. The tour is not recommended for under 14s or those of a nervous disposition, and due to the nature of the building is unsuitable for those with mobility impairments.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 14-15

Admission

£5 adults, £3 under 16s

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/city-tours/candlelit-tours/

Young people celebrating the end of war

Wartime Peterborough walk

  • 4 November 2018 2-3:30pm

Join us this November for a tour to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Take a tour around the streets of Peterborough city centre and discover more about the city during the two world wars.

Find out about the servicemen from the area and the units they fought in – including a regiment in World War I, armed with bicycles. Hear about the industries in Peterborough during World War II and what they made. Discover the chilling role Peterborough was to have played had the Germans invaded… and which top Nazi had his eye on Burghley House to become his new home… Learn what happened when Peterborough was bombed, where American and Polish servicemen were stationed in the city and which Hollywood film star used to drink in the local pubs. A fascinating trip into our more recent past for those who are interested in our wartime history – or for those who lived through it.

Booking is recommended for this special tour. To book, please call Peterborough Museum at 01733 864663, or book online here: https://vivacity.org/heritage-booking/

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5 adults, £3 under 16s

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/city-tours/wartime-peterborough-walk/

close up of italic script calligraphy poem

Italic script calligraphy

  • 17 November 2018 10am-4pm

This workshop is a follow-up for those who have attended a foundational workshop for beginners, or who already have some experience of calligraphy. Learn how to construct the 26 minuscule letters of the italic script, to write a short poem or quote. Please bring your calligraphy equipment; although some materials will be available to purchase on the day.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
  • 18+

Where

Peterborough Museum
Priestgate
Peterborough
PE1 1LF
England

Getting there

Peterborough Museum is situated in Peterborough City Centre, on Priestgate, a minute’s walk from the main shopping areas and two minutes’ walk from the Queensgate Shopping Centre, the Bus Station or the Railway Station.

The city of Peterborough is conveniently located just off the A1, and is on the main East Coast railway line, less than an hour’s journey from London.

There is no parking at the Museum except for one disabled parking space; if you would like to use this, please let us know in advance so that we can reserve it.

There are plenty of places to park in the City Centre and the most convenient ones for the Museum are the Trinity Street Car Park, or Car Haven on Bishop’s Road.

For a full list of car parks in the City Centre managed by Peterborough City Council, visit https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/parking/

If you’re using a sat nav to find us, our postcode is PE1 1LF.

Services and facilities

Admission

£45 per person, includes lunch

Website

https://vivacity.org/whatson/heritage/historical-skills-workshops/italic-script-calligraphy-workshop/

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

http://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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