Visiting the museum (1) – Elephants & Egypt

As I needed to go into town a couple of days ago I decided to take a look round the central museum while I was there. As museums aren’t exactly on my list of ‘things to go and see’ it’s been many years since I was last in there, however the place recently underwent an almost 2-year refurbishment programme, re-opening last September, and since then more than one person has told me how nice it is now so I thought I should go and take a look. Walkingย from the car park I first came to the town’s elephants set in a small square a hundred yards or so from the museum. Elephants have been associated with the town since as far back as 1799 and there’s one on the local coat of arms ; the coloured ones were named by local youngsters in a competition.
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In the museum building a curving stone staircase went up from each side of the wide entrance hall, and while those staircases were just as they were when I was a child the museum itself was vastly different. At the top of the stairs was the museum shop and through there was a bright atrium with the various galleries leading off it. I’d been told that the new Egypt gallery was quite exceptional and I wouldn’t disagree – with five rooms leading into each other, bright wall murals, hundreds of artefacts on display and even a full-size walk-through reproduction of a burial chamber it was a great place to wander round.
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Going up….
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I didn’t expect to see this at the top of the stairs!
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The Egypt gallery
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A bright wall mural
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Copy of the Rosetta Stone
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The mummified body of a 3-year old girl
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“The Unknown Man” acquired by the museum in the 1930s and believed to be a son of Rameses ll or Rameses the Great
The “Unknown Man” actually reposes in a woman’s coffin although no-one knows how he came to be in it, but before he was donated to the museum he had been used as a feature in a lady’s drawing room although it’s not known how she came to acquire him. In 1932 the Boris Karloff horror film The Mummy was produced, followed by other films of the same type, so it’s thought that maybe these films influenced the lady’s decision to donate the “Unknown Man” to the museum.
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Original stonework from the tomb of Pharoah Thutmose lll who reigned from 1425 to 1479 BC
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The Egypt gallery was so varied and interesting that it would have taken me a long while to read all the information available and look properly at all the items on display but I didn’t want to overstay my time on the car park so once I’d taken as many photos as I could reasonably get I moved on to the next section of the museum.
To be continued….

13 thoughts on “Visiting the museum (1) – Elephants & Egypt

  1. What a fascinating exhibition, I love seeing things like these on display. We’ve seen the Rosetta Stone for real in the British Museum in London. You’re right that there’s far too much to take it all in on one visit. Lovely photos and really interesting.

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    1. The Egyptian rooms are really fascinating and I took far more photos than I could put on one blog post without making them smaller and reducing the quality. The burial tomb was quite difficult to photograph so I may pay another visit for that one. Incidentally, I’ve just added a bit of info about the Unknown Man – I know some people like to have a house with character but I think this was a bit extreme! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Thanks for sharing the Egyptian display at your museum. My DD had a fascination about Egypt at one time and boy, it’s a long time since I’ve been in a museum too, other than ones with vehicles (giggle). I love your elephants. Take care.

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  3. I think the local council have done an excellent job of refurbishing the museum, it’s now spacious, bright and modern but still retains many of its original features. Well worth a look round on a rainy day, especially the Egyptian rooms ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. How interesting, and not what you expect to find in the middle of Bolton – shame on me ๐Ÿ™‚ Museums are in such a precarious position these days, with so much information available online, I guess they all struggle to bring in living, breathing visitors.

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    1. The current museum, along with the central library, is at one end of the long crescent-shaped Civic Centre building behind the town hall, prior to that it was in a building in one of the local parks. If you like that sort of thing and you’re ever down this way then I can recommend a visit now it’s been refurbished – and it’s free too ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I must admit I was very impressed with the new look of the museum and I’ll certainly be going again sometime. Come and have a look if you’re ever over this way ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. A great deal of effort goes into making museums accessible and interesting these days, Eunice. I had no idea about the elephant connection, but those on the gateway look great. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for joining me. I’ll link this one and refer to the others.

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  7. The elephants on top of the wall are great aren’t they? I’m glad they were donated to the town when the their old home was demolished, it would have been a shame to send them for scrap.

    I went to the coast yesterday to do a snowdrop walk, the weather was so good I could have been where you are ๐Ÿ™‚

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