Vaulting ambition

Inside Priestgate Vaults web

The underground vaults at Peterborough Museum.

Historic characters from Peterborough Museum’s 500-year past feature in new tours of the building’s underground vaults, which have opened to the public for the first time.

Film-style special effects are projected onto the ancient brick walls of Priestgate Vaults during tours and characters talk to visitors as they move through the vaults in groups of up to 15 during each 45-minute tour, outlining their part in the building’s history – from its early days as a Tudor mansion, to a Georgian magistrate’s home and a Victorian hospital, before becoming a museum in the 1930s.

English Civil War cavalier Sir Humphrey Orme, who lived in the building in the 17th century, welcomes visitors before they move into the wine cellar to hear from butler John Webb about life in the house in the mid-1800s and on to the coal cellar where nurse Ethel Reynolds talks about Victorian hospital life.

The tours, which are also escorted by volunteer guides, culminate in the Ghost Room, scene of the museum’s most active apparitions. In this dimly-lit cellar as the sounds of footsteps echo eerily in the corridor outside, groups will hear of some of the most spine-chilling encounters ever experienced.

For further information telephone 01733 864663.