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Wigan Museums


Museum of Wigan Life
Library Street
Wigan WN1 1NU
Fax: 01942 828128 

Museum Opening Hours:

Monday & Tuesday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am-3:00pm
Sunday: Closed

How to find us:

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The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users with an accessible toilet, lift and lowed counter section on reception. There is accessible parking at the top of library street. Guide and assistance dogs are welcome at the museum. A Hearing loop System is available in the main galleries and around the reception in Local & Family History on the first floor. Please contact us in advance for the Portable Hearing Loop. There is Magnifying software on People’s Network machines in Local & Family History. Magnifiers, large print and Braille information may be available on request, please ask at reception.


You can find out more about the people and places of Wigan Borough, past and present at the Museum of Wigan Life. Lively displays cover everything from sport to war and pies to festivals. Explore Roman Wigan or dance the night away to Northern Soul with Wigan Casino. Try our special exhibitions and events looking at unique aspects of local history from Rugby League to clog fighting.

The museum is housed in Wigan’s first public library and first public building with electric lighting. Alfred Waterhouse designed the building, which opened in 1878. He also designed the Natural History Museum in London and Manchester Town Hall. In 1936 George Orwell researched his book The Road to Wigan Pier in the Reference Library (now Family History and Local Studies) upstairs.

At Trencherfield Mill you can see the Steam Engine, one of the largest and finest working examples of its type. Built over 100 years ago, this mammoth metal powerhouse was regarded as a feat of industrial engineering. Churning out a massive 2,500 horse power to feed the ever hungry machinery of Trencherfield Mill, it played an instrumental role in Wigan’s industrial development.

For our events and exhibitions programme and opening times for Trencherfied Mill and Archives and Local Studies, visit:

Wigan Museums