Click on the images below to find out more about objects in our social and local history collections
The museum’s social and local history collections reflect the way that people have lived in the rural and market towns of north-west Essex over the past few centuries. Objects include agricultural tools and horse-drawn vehicles, domestic items, toys and games, military items and an extensive collection of documents, photographs and prints.
The collections reveal the lives of well-known local people including the Tudor author Gabriel Harvey, Henry Winstanley, builder of the first Eddystone Lighthouse, and R.A. Butler, MP for Saffron Walden for many years. They also explore how ordinary people lived, with subjects including local tradesmen, such as clockmakers, saddlers and builders, local government, societies, clubs and schools.
Find out more about our collections and the social history of Saffron Walden & the Uttlesford area:
- Piano Hoard
- Piano Hoard – Coin label
- History of Saffron Production
- Newport Bridewell & the County House of Correction
- History of Saffron Walden Fire Brigade:
- Coats of Many Colours: A brief history of Fire-fighting uniform
- Introduction to Early Fire-Fighting
- Victorian Fire-Fighting Timeline
- Easton Lodge (1847 & 1918)
- Early 20th century Fire-Fighting Timeline
- The Great Fire at Little Chesterford (1914)
- A Brigade Second to None but often fighting a losing battle
- Mid 20th Century Fire-Fighting Timeline
- Post War and Mid 20th Century Fire-Fighting Timeline
- Fire at the Rose & Crown Hotel (1969)
Objects in our social and local history collections are on display in the Town and Country and Costume in Context galleries, such as this carved mantlepiece:
A section of John Harvey’s Carved Mantlepiece c. 1570
Many more objects are kept in storage and can be viewed by appointment.