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The Norris Museum can provide many opportunities for groups and schools to bring the past to life by working with original objects, documents, photographs and works of art.

Please read on for more details of our sessions "At the Museum" and "Beyond the Museum".


We offer talks and workshops either in the museum or at your own venue. They involve handling and examining items in our collections, with lots of discussion and interaction appropriate for different age groups. Sessions are also FUN, with the emphasis on learning through personal involvement.

We can also offer craft activities on a wide variety of themes - everything from Roman masks to making your own fossil. These sessions are ideal for schools, cubs and brownies, and adults who like to be creative!

Here are short outlines of sessions and talks we can provide. But we are always happy to tailor them to suit your particular needs if possible, so do contact us to discuss them.

Follow this link for the Historical Timeline for St Ives

Workshop making medieval gargoyles


Please call us to discuss any variations, of which there can be many. Sessions are usually about 1½ hours but can be arranged to suit you.


Fantastic Fossils - discover what Huntingdonshire was like millions of years ago when it was under the sea! Meet the creatures who lived here and find out what a fossil is. With fossils to handle and draw, or make your own fossil craft activity.

What does an archaeologist do? A chance to try a mini-dig, piece evidence together, draw and handle objects, think about different materials and their survival.

Remarkable Romans - fantastic objects in the display gallery plus object handling and discussion with real Roman artefacts. Various linked craft activities available.

Victorian St Ives - local photographs, object handling and discussion.

Having fun investigating fossils
Discovering how an archaeologist work with one of our interactive puzzles

Toys and Games - real and replica historical toys to compare with toys today, pre-electric moving toy technology. History of the Fen skaters. Make a simple moving toy.

The Home Front in Huntingdonshire / World War II - an exploration of life on the Home Front in the local area with photographs, objects and a replica evacuee's suitcase.

St Ives Timeline - an historic town walk, object handling session and resource pack containing maps, photographs and documents to help students explore key moments in local history and the development of the town.

Discovering Art - use our inspiring collection of local paintings and prints for a self-led exploration of aspects of art. Sketch and take away ideas for further development using the materials in our "Art Cart". Please check our Future Events page to see what's on display.

Stone Age to Iron Age- Handle real artefacts from prehistory before placing them on a timeline and think about surviving evidence from our ‘Stone Age Story’. Can also be combined with a mini archaeological dig at the museum.

We welcome groups of all ages

Space for our handling sessions is small, so we usually recommend dividing you into smaller groups. While one group is busy with the objects, the others can be enjoying self-conducted activities in the display gallery or the garden, or in St Ives' historic town centre.

There is full disabled access throughout the Museum. There is one toilet, for pre-booked groups only. Most of our workshops and activities can be brought out to you if you prefer.

We recommend that teachers and group leaders make a free pre-visit to the Museum whenever possible to discuss your needs.

A Town Trail tour takes in Bridge Street

St Ives Town Trail - A walk round the historic highlights of St Ives bringing to life its development from a small Saxon village to a bustling market town and river port. "History Detective" work for school groups to follow up the themes of change over time, or sketching in the town and meadows, geography survey etc.

The Bridge Chapel - a guided visit to St Ives bridge and its chapel highlighting its importance and many different guises through time, from pilgrim's rest to battle site, pub and doctor's surgery!

Memories are made of this… - we can also offer outreach sessions for care homes, day centres and groups. (Staff and volunteers are receiving ongoing training for this work and we are developing our resources. Please call us to discuss).

Talks - the curators offer lively illustrated talks on a range of local history topics.

Looking for a Roman soldier, a Viking or a Storyteller?
We often work with re-enactors and can help put you in touch with groups and individuals who can visit your school.


For school requests to deliver learning activities either at the museum or at school we request a minimum donation of £30.00 per day i.e. we are happy to work with multiple classes for this amount. Charges for other groups for talks, tours, reminiscence activities etc. are currently £35.00/session, plus travel if activities are brought out to you.

To book a session just call us, with as much notice as possible, on 01480 497314 - or you can make initial enquiries by email, on



a workshop making gargoyles from the Middle Ages

  having fun investigating fossils
  discovering how an archaeologist works with one of our interactive games
  history detectives from a local school looking for clues in Bridge Street, St Ives
  we welcome groups of all ages!