Welcome to our Galleries Extra page
Our fuller galleries page with additional information for those requiring more details about our galleries.
Hope you enjoy the Youtube video
The Museum Galleries are open every day (except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). Monday to Sunday 1-4 pm
The museum galleries tell the story of the people, events and history that have created Saddleworth’s landscape and character. The visitor will find that this has been done using a well-designed mix of technologies, old and new, with several “interactive” areas for both young and old. Our galleries do this within the carefully restored fabric of a building that still retains the character you would expect from a building dated 1862. All the four galleries, over two floors, are well lit with additional spotlighting dedicated to highlighting specific display points and an extensive use of clear story boards. Whilst a few items may have some glass, or rail protection, the visitor can still get close enough to see the detail. In other areas, such as the walk-in Victorian parlour, it is possible for the visitor to walk into a room and touch many of the items from a bye gone era. New, and old, technologies have been used within many of the visitor interactives and it is even possible to view our collections database. There are also activity areas where the young can dress up, draw and engage with the museum in a way which we hope will encourage a return visit.
Two of the initiatives by our learning officers has been the development of the Family Trail and Baskets or Bags around the museum, which have proved to be extremely popular. Basic Playmobil figures are dressed up to reflect a mix of the museum’s volunteers, staff and contractors. Children and their family members: parents or grandparents, can pick up a trail and a basket or bag from the reception area and follow this trail around the museum. Good trail results may be eligible for a prize!
We are an independent museum with accreditation status and run as a registered charity. A small charge is made for admission to the museum galleries although “Friends of the Museum”, for an annual subscription, enjoy free admission.
Gallery One – ground floor
This gallery starts with the geology of the Saddleworth and then explores the human history, artefacts and other physical remains in an archaeological display of some of our more interesting collections. There are several fascinating displays about transportation that was used in the area. The archaeological history, geology and transportation available in the Saddleworth area at the time would help determine the activities, occupations and manufacturing processes and we present some of those here. It can also be seen that the development of some occupations would have also driven the transportation needs. The visitor can connect all these elements by viewing the collections, reading the story boards and labels and our interactives should help explain and hold the interest of young and old alike. There are also records, displays and interactives of the local “people” shaped by this environment. These are just a few examples of our collections and themes on display but there is so much more. We believe you may need to revisit gallery one to see all there is to see.
The geology and archaeological sections are currently on your left as you enter the gallery. Gallery One, 2017.
Some of our bicycles and motorcycles from bygone times. Gallery One, 2017.
See our Austin 7, nicknamed the “Baby Austin” on display. Gallery One, 2017.
Some of the past occupations and manufacturing history in Saddleworth with one of our interactives, “cogs” in the foreground. Gallery One, 2017.
Gallery Two – ground floor
This is, in some ways, is our “signature” gallery with its display of major Saddleworth icons. With its stunning glass atrium looking out to, and clearly visible from, the Uppermill high street, it possibly attracts most attention from visitors’ passing the museum. However, it is only inside the gallery that the visitor experiences the real impact of such a wonderful space. The gallery holds one of our truly breath-taking collections of costume, the iconic Dobcross Loom and the scaled replica Rushcart used by the Morris Men in 2012 with the museum’s 50th recognised on the banner used. The Morris Man on top is spotlighted at night and even his sash embroidery was beautifully replicated by local people. These are just a few examples of our collections and themes on display but there is so much more. We believe you may need to revisit gallery two to re-experience this stunning space.
The scaled model replica Rushcart, with Morris man, takes pride of place. Gallery Two, 2017.
One of the other “symbols” of Saddleworth’s past, the Dobcross Loom, Gallery Two, 2017.
One of our “Putting you in the Picture” stations. Gallery Two, 2017.
This interactive, “weave away” is easy to miss. Currently below the window to your right as you enter the gallery. Gallery Two, 2017.
Gallery Three – first floor
Those taking the stairs will enter this gallery near our “Pots and Pans viewing window” and will also have an excellent top to bottom view of the Rushcart to their right. For the visitor wanting to sit and stare awhile we have a small bench seat near the viewing window. Those taking the lift will need to retrace their steps on the ground floor and will enter this gallery at the far end near our Peterloo display and storyboard. This gallery reflects very much Saddleworth’s past of working, learning and domestic life, and has lots of hidden little “gems” not to be missed. Four of these gems must be the George Dew clock mechanism which runs the museum clock to this day, the outside “lavvy“, the handloom and our cabinet of “mystery” objects. We have “opened up” rooms such as the Victorian parlour, so the visitor can touch and feel some of the bygone items. There are also learning story boards and an activity desk for the children where we invite them to make a Thaumatrope, (a kit and easy to follow instructions are on the desk). There is just about something for everyone in this gallery. These are just a few examples of our collections and themes on display but there is so much more. We believe you may need to revisit gallery three to see all there is to see.
Our warp-and-weft interactive. Gallery Three, 2017.
Handloom with story board. Gallery three, 2017.
Walk-in Victorian parlour. Gallery Three, 2017.
Our “Thaumatrope” activity area for the children (and grown-ups too!). Gallery Three, 2017.
Gallery Four – first floor
A turn out of gallery three takes the visitor into gallery four. Visitors before 2016 may have known this as the “Carnegie” gallery. We have since given this area a new “facelift” and major update, whilst utilising some of the previous, sound and robust, display cabinets. The Lord Rhodes display is lovingly maintained by members of the family to this day. The gallery holds many of our most interesting, rather miscellaneous collections. Costumes, artefacts, memorabilia, utensils and story boards about Saddleworth past. We have one display area devoted to the murder at the Moorcock Inn (Bill o Jacks) and a magnificent commemorative display to the two World Wars. The children will no doubt find the final “Putting you in the Picture” dressing up area where they can dress up as soldier or nurse. This gallery has a final “around the corner” surprise for the visitor. Often this will be displays by local artists with paintings for sale but this area is subject to continuous change and we can guarantee what you will see. It is now possible to either, retrace your steps, or leave by the exit only door to the community gallery or stairs to the ground floor and the Visitors Comment Book in the entrance way. This exit is not suitable for wheelchair users. Please read our Events and Exhibitions pages before visiting the Community Gallery. If you leave this way, please shut the door behind you. We hope you enjoyed your visit and we all look forward to your return!
Our Lords Rhodes display cabinet. Gallery Four, 2017.
The Bill o’ Jacks (Moorcock Inn) murders story board and collections display. Gallery Four, 2017.
Saddleworth Commemorative to the World Wars. Gallery Four,2017.
Area for the children to dress up as a nurse or soldier, Gallery Four, 2016.