Saddleworth Museum

The Museum opened in 1962 and is situated in one of the out buildings of what was a 19th century mill named Victoria Mill and is the only part of the mill to survive, the rest of the site now serving as a car park. The museum stands in a historic and now beautiful location beside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which at this location had coal wharves serving the needs of the local mills in the village of Uppermill.

Saddleworth is an area – an old Yorkshire parish with its own distinct identity – made up of a number of villages of which the main ones are Delph, Diggle, Dobcross, Denshaw, Greenfield and Uppermill where the museum is based. The area was described by one local historian at the turn of the 20th century as a little bit of Yorkshire on the Lancashire side of the Pennines.

Saddleworth Museum is full of intriguing objects from the past and tells the story of the people who have created Saddleworth’s landscape and character:

  • The prehistoric summer visitors who hunted on the hill tops • The soldiers who shivered on duty at Castleshaw Roman Fort • The farmers who scraped a living from the hills by weaving cloth in their homes • The merchants and businessmen who brought prosperity to Victorian Saddleworth • The men, women and children who endured long hours in the woollen mills • The men who tunnelled through the Pennines to take the canal and railway • The brass bands who fill the Saddleworth air with music • The Morris Men carrying on the old tradition of rushcart building

The museum has four galleries covering many aspects of Saddleworth’s rich history with subjects covered including everything from people who have contributed in making history including May Kenworthy the worlds first supermodel, Ivan Hirst who got the Volkswagen factory going again after the second world war and displays on transport, industry, architecture, geology, archaeology etc.. A number of displays change regularly and this gives us the opportunity to show over a period many items from our varied collections. Our exhibitions make use of material stored in our archives which include photographs, maps, deeds, family history material, etc. You are welcome to view items in the archives but you need to make an appointment and let us know in advance what you are researching.

.Why don’t you support your local museum by joining the Friends of the Museum, gaining free access to the museum. Call in on the second Wednesday of every month for a cup of coffee with a canalside view at our Friend’s Coffee Morning, also watch out for the Farmers Market held on the second Sunday of each month plus look out for other social events.

We have a varied programme of learning activities and engagement projects for all ages developed and delivered by an energetic Learning Officer.  These include cross-curricular Primary Schools’ workshops and half term ‘Museum Makes’ family workshops inspired by our local history collections.  We also have a volunteer programme, a variety of drop-in ‘Art Cart’ activities during school holidays, a regular Family Trail and Family Bags to help young visitors explore the museum.

The Art Gallery hosts at least ten exhibitions a year exhibiting work by artists both local, regional and national in all media. The artworks are usually for sale and give the opportunity for people to purchase a ‘unique’ piece for their home, office etc.

The museum has a shop selling a wide range of books, in particular local history, CD’s, maps, gifts and souvenirs including ranges which are unique to the museum so pop in for a warm welcome. We are open daily throughout the year from 1.00pm to 4.00pm – no charge to look in the shop or art gallery. The museum and gallery is fully disabled accessible with a lift between the floors and ramps where required

Saddleworth Museum, Gallery and Community Resource is an independent organization run as a registered charity. The museum is reliant for its survival a lot on funds it raises itself and it is for this reason we have to make a small entry fee to visit the museum, the art gallery for visitors to view the exhibitions is free.

Saddleworth Museum and Gallery, High Street, Uppermill, Oldham, OL3 6HS

Tel. 01457 874093   /   email curator@saddleworthmuseum.co.uk    /