Wisbech and Fenland Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the United Kingdom. Not only containing local artefacts from the surrounding Fens, but objects from far-flung Egypt and China. The Museum also houses two historic libraries and a substantial archive, holding diocesean and borough records.
Wisbech and Fenland Museum Exhibitions
Housed in a Grade II listed building, designed by architect George Buckler, the museum retains its original display cases and bookcases.
The museum houses a number of important collections relating to local history and the anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson. A significant exhibit is the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
The museum is home to a vast collection of local, British and international geology (rocks & minerals), Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Coleoptera (beetles), palaeontology (fossils), conchology (shells) and a herbarium (botanical specimens). Among the fossils to be seen are ichthyosaurs, belemnites, sea urchins and sharks teeth. Among the stars of the collection are a nest of kingfishers, the ichthyosaurs and a giant eel caught in the River Nene!
The Museum houses a remarkable collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts which illustrate as much about the Egyptian lives and beliefs as they do about the Victorians who collected them. One of the icons of the Museum’s entire collection is the mummy’s hand, a dis-membered mummified hand mounted on a red velvet cushion within a gilt frame! Other gems include a mummified cat, Canopic jars and several stelae (gravestones). Unusually, the Museum also has an Egyptian handling collection which is very popular with schools groups and other visitors.
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