What's on - Museums and archives

Details of museums and archives exhibitions and events.

Museum of Wigan Life are free unless otherwise stated.

Exhibitions and events

Ancient Egypt - as seen on BBC TV

Ancient Egyptian maskPermanent display
Price: Free

Our popular Ancient Egypt Rediscovered exhibition is now on permanent display.

Get up close and personal with ancient coffins, grave goods and a spectacular gold mask. This amazing collection covers over 3000 years of Egyptian history.

Animal Mummies Uncovered

animals-uncoveredOpens: Saturday 29th April 2017 - January 2018
Price: Free exhibition

A fascinating, myth-busting new exhibition looking at Ancient Egyptian animal mummies which were prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. This nationally touring exhibition features mummified animal specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds. Explore the recreated subterranean catacomb and discover more about the Ancient Egyptians. Then try the latest science to learn more about the subject! On tour from Manchester Museum.

Family History and the First World War

Museum of Wigan Life
Thursday 8th June (sold out)
2.30pm – 4pm
Price: £2.50 per person booking required

What did your family do in the war? If you have an ancestor involved in the First World War and want to find out more, this is the workshop for you. We will look at how to search military records online including Wigan Borough Online War Memorial. Tea/coffee not provided.

The Douglas Navigation by Mike Clarke

Museum of Wigan Life
Tuesday 20th June
12 noon – 1pm
Price: £2.50 per person (incl. tea/coffee) booking required

Back by popular demand Mike Clarke looks at the story of Wigan’s River Douglas as it was turned from a natural waterway into an industrial highway. The Douglas Navigation was authorised in 1720 and finally opened in 1742 before it was closed in 1781. Find out more about this important part of our industrial heritage.

Animal Mummies – Live Science

Animal mummies live scienceMuseum of Wigan Life
Thursday 22nd June
7 – 9:30pm  
Doors open at 6.30pm

Price: £5 per person (incl. complimentary wine/beer)

Have you ever wanted to know how they wrapped mummies in ancient Egypt? Join us for a drink to witness a theatrical spectacle when Manchester Museum experts demonstrate animal mummy wrapping. The scientists have an ambitious target - to replicate the elaborate herringbone wrappings of the ibis mummies from the animal catacombs at Saqqara. This is a rare opportunity to see live science and the results of extensive laboratory research! No animals will be harmed!

Dark Satanic play


Museum of Wigan Life
Saturday 1st July
Free, booking required. Age 15+

England, 1823. The Industrial Revolution and a changing world. Dark Satanic explores the challenges faced by 19th century working women as they successfully navigated a rapidly changing world - run mostly by men. Written by Rob Johnston (The Kings Cross Award for New Writing) and performed by Emma Romy-Jones (The Stage Edinburgh Award for Excellence).

Passchendaele and the First World War by Colonel Glover

Museum of Wigan Life
Thursday 6th July
12noon – 1.15pm
Price: £2.50 per person (incl. tea/coffee) booking required

July 2017 marks the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, an event made infamous by the mud and slaughter faced by troops on both sides during the First World War. After three months of fighting, causalities numbered 325,000 for the Allies and 260,000 for the Germans. The huge loss of life for limited gains continues to make this major battle controversial today. Why did the battle take place? How was it fought? What was the reality on the ground? Find out more about the military context of this battle and the conditions for those who lived and died through it.

Animal Mummies

Tuesday 25th July and 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th August
1pm - 2.30pm
Price: £2.50 per child booking required

Join us for summer fun as we make our own animal mummies and learn about Ancient Egypt. Get stuck in with activities and trails then discover the real animal mummies on display!

Explore Egypt


Thursday 27th July and 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st August
1pm - 2.30pm
Price: £2.50 per child booking required

Make your own treasures as we explore the Land of the Pharaohs! Try super trails, crafty treats and discover some real Egyptian artefacts.

Coming soon

Sex and Murder - Lancashire’s 19th Century Women Poisoners
By Martin Baggoley

Thursday 5th October
12noon - 1pm
Price: £2.50 per person incl tea/coffee booking required

Discover the gruesome history of women murders, their methods and final punishment. Hear about the case of Ann Burns, involving illicit sex, murder, insurance claims and infanticide in Wigan.

Spooky Halloween for kids

Halloween 2017

Tuesday 24th and Thursday 26th October
1pm - 2.30pm
Price: £2.50 per person incl tea/coffee booking required

Visit for Spooky Halloween activities. Make your own mask and ghoulish treats. Be there or be very afraid. Fancy dress welcome!


Dead and Buried: The Wants and Worries of the 19th Century Deceased by Charlie Guy MA

Dead and Buried

Tuesday 31st October
1pm - 2pm
Price: £2.50 per person incl tea/coffee booking required

Join us on Halloween to dispel the dark myths of the Victorian dead and shine a light on some of the forgotten, outdated and downright creepy funerary practices, traditions and superstitions of the age.

The Mummies Unmasked Dr Campbell Price

Eygptian Mummy in CT scanner

Thursday 16th November
Price: £2.50 per person (incl. tea/coffee) booking required

A special look underneath the bandages of Manchester Museum’s Egyptian mummies. The unique collection of mummies has undergone investigation using CT scanning and this is an amazing opportunity to hear first hand about the findings. What do the scans reveal about mummification? Who were the mummies? How were the mummies made? Back by popular demand.

The Pretoria Pit Disaster by Alan Davies

Thursday 23rd November
12noon - 1pm
Price: £2.50 per person incl tea/coffee booking required

Find out about the largest mine disaster in the Lancashire coalfield. On the morning of the 21st Dec 1910, 344 men and boys were killed at Hulton Bank No.3 Pit. Discover more about this tragic event and its impact on the local community.


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