We hope to open to the public (by appointment only) on one weekend late December
(except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day)
Access for the disabled,
We currently operate an appointment system; our opening hours are subject to change and our service provision is constantly under review to ensure compliance. Please check our visitor information page.
Please browse through the selection of images after each section here
Introduction (Due to the current restrictions the interactives will not be available but we may be able to provide a restricted family trail – bring your own pen or pencil!)
The galleries are wheelchair friendly, but you will also find plenty of places to have a sit down.
Before the visitor starts the tour of the galleries, they may like to ask for the family trail or one of our activity bags suitable for children. For the family trail pick up your clue and question sheet from reception and find out which figures we have “hidden” around the galleries. Hand in your answers at the end, and you will then be eligible for a prize! Our themed activity bags will contain replicas of Victoriana or transport methods etc. and could further enhance your visit. Please hand these back when you have finished. There are also activity areas for dressing up, colouring, weaving and other interactives. Also walk-in areas and discovery drawers that help children engage with the museum.
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-designedmix 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 thefour galleries, over two floors, are well lit withadditional spotlightingdedicated 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 the space and touch some of the items. New, and old, technologies have been used within many of thevisitor interactivesand eventually we hope it will be possible to view our collections database, and more, on a secure workstation within gallery three.
On your left, as you leave gallery four we usually display a group of magnificant botanical studies from our collections by Joan Charnley (1928 – 2016). Joan was a textile designer, botanical artist and travel journal writer. Born in 1928 in Southport, Joan studied Textile Design at Manchester School of Art between 1948 and 1953 before becoming a tutor and artist in Great Yarmouth. In 1963 she moved to Saddleworth. Joan donated many items for our collections and was a great “Friend” of the museum.
Joan’s work is often out on loan to other museums or galleries. We often invite a local artist to occupy the space short term to exhibit their work for viewing or sale so this area is subject to change and we cannot guarantee what you will see.
We hope you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to your return!