Current Exhibition

Man & Beast

Thursday 20th May 2021 onwards 

An exhibition exploring the cultural history of animals

Current Exhibition

An exhibition which explores the central role which animals have played in the lives of humans, not only as sources of food and materials but also in culture, art, religion and folklore. A wide range of objects and specimens, including many from the museum’s stores, have been brought together to examine the role which dogs and horses, snakes and bees, raptors, insects and cows have played in our lives over thousands of years. Visitors can find out about the history of edible insects, how an Iron Age pet dog was buried near Stansted Airport, and the role which birds of prey have played in many cultures through the ages down to our own day.

Your Stories (Community Showcase):

Sawdust Hearts

Discover a military textile tradition which goes back centuries and find out about how they were linked to the origins of occupational therapy.  You can find out more about the nationwide 2019 project Sawdust Hearts in this short video the group have produced. 


All Fired Up : a history of fire fighting in Essex

in partnership with Essex Fire Museum  (part of Essex County Fire &  Rescue Service)

Now will be exhibited Saturday 2 April – Sunday 3 July 2022Visitors will be able to explore some of the fascinating stories of fire-fighting across Essex. The exhibits include a wide range of artefacts, photographs, uniforms and equipment which trace the history of fire-fighting from Victorian times to the present-day.  It will also feature private and works’ fire brigades, which were particularly prominent in Essex during the 20th century. 

Along with discovering some of the technological developments which have influenced fire-fighting, visitors will also be able to discover heroic stories of bravery and the human stories behind some of the major incidents which have occurred in the county’s history. The exhibition also touches upon some of the more obscure aspects of local fire-fighting history, including a troupe of fire-fighting scouts, a famous fire-fighting vicar and the story of how an obscure family pet caused a local mansion to go up in flames. 

Click on the links below for a brief overview of the exhibition  – a local fire-fighting timeline! –

  1. Coats of Many Colours: A brief history of Fire-fighting uniform
  2. Introduction to Early Fire-Fighting
  3. Victorian Fire-Fighting Timeline
  4. Easton Lodge (1847 & 1918) 
  5. Early 20th century Fire-Fighting Timeline
  6. The Great Fire at Little Chesterford (1914)
  7. A Brigade Second to None but often fighting a losing battle
  8. Mid 20th Century Fire-Fighting Timeline
  9. Post War and Mid 20th Century Fire-Fighting Timeline
  10. Rose & Crown Hotel (1969)
  11. Thanks & Credits