What's on - Museums and archives

Museum of Wigan Life currently closed →

The Museum of Wigan Life is currently closed for exhibition changeover and will reopen at the end of January 2023 with an exciting new exhibition ‘Make Some Noise - from Stage Door to Dance Floor’. Wigan Local Studies will remain open as normal Tuesday -Saturday, 10am - 4pm.

On this page you will find details of museums and archives exhibitions and events.

The Museum of Wigan Life is free unless otherwise stated.

If you have any event queries, you can contact the museums and archives team


Rebels, Radicals, Reform: The Fight for Better exhibition

Rebels, Radicals, Reform: The Fight for Better

Temporary display
Price: Free

The freedom to protest has been a way for people to get their voices heard throughout history. The reasons for protests have been varied, but whatever the reason, it has been the catalyst needed for the growth of freedom and change.

From the Jacobites, Diggers and Peterloo, to the miners strike and recent movements about the environment and racial equality, this exhibition brings to life the many causes the people of our proud borough have campaigned and fought for over the past 600 years, ultimately making it the amazing place it is today.

Ancient Egypt

Permanent display
Price: Free

Our popular Ancient Egypt Rediscovered exhibition is now on permanent display so get up close and personal with ancient coffins and grave goods. This amazing collection covers over 3000 years of Egyptian history and includes a stunning gold coffin mask dating from period of Tutankhamun, outer coffin pieces, shabtis and artefacts from the Roman and Greek occupation of Egypt.

Upcoming events

Leigh Town Hall Tour

Join a member of the archives team for a behind the scenes tour of the historic town hall building. Availability is limited so you must book in advance

Soul Time - Music and chat group

Join Manchester Camerata for Soul Time – a music and chat group for people living well with dementia and their families. Come to the museum for a relaxed and informal session set to music. Covid safe.

  • When?  Every other Monday, 1:30pm - 2.30pm
  • Where? Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU
  • What is the cost? Free event
  • Do I need to book? No need to book, just drop in.

Playful Saturdays

Bring your little explorers along to Playful Saturdays at Leigh Town Hall and discover some of the secrets of the archives!  Build your own wacky invention inspired by the amazing inventors of Leigh, or maybe have a go at adding colour to archive photographs.

  • When? Every Saturday, 10am-1pm and 1:30-4pm
  • Where? Archives Wigan and Leigh, Leigh Town Hall
  • What is the cost? Free event
  • Do I need to book? No need to book, just drop in.

Museum Minis

Calling all parents and carers with little ones. Looking for somewhere to go with your museum minis? Then look no further! Join us at the museum for a fun and relaxed session full of engaging storytelling, songs, and craft activities. Suitable for age 0-5 years.

  • When? Starting Wednesday 15th February 2023 and then every Wednesday, 10:30am - 11:45am
  • Where? Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU
  • What is the cost? £1.50 per child. Includes drinks for parents / carers and children
  • Do I need to book? No, just drop in

Museum of Wigan Life lunchtime building and permanent exhibition tours

Fancy something exciting to do during your lunch break? Then look no further! Join us at the museum for our new bi-monthly building and permanent display tours.

Our curators will guide you through the museum’s permanent displays including Romans, Ancient Egyptians, early trades, and 600 years of protest across Wigan borough. Find out who built our amazing building, it’s past use and explore our fantastic local studies library and all the resources it has to offer.

  • When? Starting Wednesday 5th April 2023 and then Wednesday 7th July, 12 - 12:45pm
  • Where? Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU
  • What is the cost? Free
  • Do I need to book? Yes, booking is essential
  • How do I book? Ring 01942 828128 or email wiganmuseum@wigan.gov.uk

Our House - Make Your Own Home Trinket Box

Come down to a free workshop held at Archives: Wigan and Leigh to create your own house shaped trinket box inspired by our new temporary exhibition - Every Community Needs a Stage - celebrating the different communities we all belong to.

This free workshop will take place in the Archives, located in Leigh Town Hall and is suitable for ages 3 - 11 with adult supervision. All the family are welcome but supplies are limited so please book in advance.

Parking is located on Leigh Town Hall car park and is free of charge on Saturdays . Step free access is available throughout the building.

Free Festive Family Fun

The Archives are getting ready for Christmas, we will have a very special visitor in the archives exhibition between 11:30am – 1pm, as well as a special festive sensory story session from the Short Story Lady at 12 O'clock.

We will also have a range of family friendly craft activities throughout the day.

Archives: Wigan and Leigh Exhibition in Leigh Town Hall

Visit the new exhibition in Leigh Town Hall exploring local history. Enjoy some hands on family friendly fun, be inspired by the collections on show and build a Lego masterpiece.

© Wigan Council