Museum of Cambridge

About The Museum

The Museum of Cambridge is one of the oldest social history museums in the UK. Occupying a 17th century timber framed former coaching inn, we house a unique collection. From household objects, paintings and toys to Fenland folklore cures and customs, we tell the fascinating stories of Cambridgeshire people.

Opening Times

The Museum is located on the corner of Castle Street and Northampton Street, just 5 minutes walk from the City centre.

  • Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10:30am - 5:00pm, last admissions: 4:30pm
  • Sundays and Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 4:00pm, last admissions: 3:30pm

Opening times over the festive season: Museum closed 23 December 2016 to 2 January 2017.

Enquiries: 01223 355159

Admission Charges

  • Adults: £4.00
  • Concessions: £2.00
  • Child under age 12: Free

Tea Room Open

  • Saturdays: 10.30am - 4.30pm
  • Sundays/Bank Holidays: 12.00 - 3.30pm

Support Us

Become a Friend of the Museum View leaflet

Support our new Education Fund View leaflet


Schools Programme

We offer an exciting programme of workshops for Primary School children at the museum. All workshops include hands-on activities with museum staff and themed trails around the museum. Children have the opportunity to examine artefacts in depth and deepen their understanding of what life was like in the past.

  • Y1-3 Victorians – Come and experience a hands-on Victorian washday, using objects such as a wash tub, posser and mangle, and then hunt for Victorian objects in our museum collection.
  • FS/KS1 Toy Detectives – Get your detective hats on and use your senses to discover whether our fantastic collection of toys were made a long time ago or are new.
  • FS/KS1 Homes in the past – How would you survive as a housemaid or footman in a Victorian household? Come and try out some of the tasks that servants would have had to complete under the watchful eye of our housekeeper. Inspired by the book Peepo set in the 1940s.
  • KS1/LKS2 Storytelling – Listen to stories inspired by objects in the museum, such as the ‘Noted Liar’ medal, and collect inspiration for your own story-telling. This session has a literacy focus.
  • Y4-6 Victorians in Cambridge – The people of Cambridge want to organise a memorable event to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Coronation, and you are on the organising committee. This workshop is inspired by a print in our collection, which shows the Coronation Dinner that was held on Parker’s Piece in 1838.

For more information about any of these workshops or to make a booking please contact our Schools Officer Rachel Nielsen at education@museumofcambridge.org.uk or 01223 355 159

More workshops will be added soon including some with a local history focus, so please check back regularly.


Image copyright Paul Allitt, courtesy of the artist; Mary Mary, Glasgow and Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge.

Exhibitions
Sludgy Portrait of Himself: Jesse Wine at the Museum of Cambridge

Until Sunday 5 February 2017

Jesse Wine has created a new tour of the Museum of Cambridge which uses audio, dramatic lighting and music to tell the story of Joseph Hempsell, a ‘fen slodger’ who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Jesse Wine has added objects from the Kettle's Yard and Museum of Cambridge's collections and his own work to the displays in the museum. Pick up your tour at the entrance desk at quarter to and quarter past every hour.

This exhibition was commissioned by Kettle’s Yard as part of Kettle’s Yard in New Places and SpacesCelebrating 50 years as part of the University of Cambridge.


Capturing Cambridge Uncovering the Stories of our Streets

Capturing Cambridge is a new venture at the Museum of Cambridge to develop the Museum as a venue, resource centre and 'home' for local and community history projects in Cambridge.

There are many ways in which you can get involved:

  • volunteer at the Museum to help us geolocate items from our collections on the Capturing Cambridge website and research aspects of the history of Cambridge using our collections,
  • share your memories of Cambridge past with us,
  • use your knowledge and expertise to help us train volunteers in different aspects of local, community and oral history,
  • connect your local history, community or interest group with our growing network
  • sign up to hear about workshops on how to do local and oral history
  • come along to one of our free talks

Come and see us at the Museum or email capturingcambridge@museumofcambridge.org.uk to make an enquiry or find out more.


Cambridge History Festival Celebrating City and County Heritage with the Museum of Cambridge

9-25 February 2017

Our third Cambridge History Festival tells the stories of city and county, past and present, through a varied programme of talks, tours, workshops and events.

The programme includes talks about the River Cam, Old Fenland Storytellers, local dialects and Cambridgeshire in the First World War. Explore the hidden history of the city through historical walking tours and learn traditional techniques in hands-on workshops. We will be gathering local stories and memories and celebrating LGBT History Month through our community project, Capturing Cambridge. Join us for events where you can find out about Cambridge Inns and enjoy beer tasting at the former White Horse Inn with CAMRA, or take part in a witch trial courtroom drama with the Witchfinder General. Don’t miss the chance to experience dining with a Victorian flavour; excellent food paired with food history at Corpus Christi College, one of the ancient colleges in the University of Cambridge. We hope you enjoy our Cambridge History Festival 2017.

Book tickets through Eventbrite View brochure