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Our History

In 2024, the Museum celebrated 40 years since it opened in the Congregational Church Sunday School. However the history of a Museum in Royston dates much further back.

In 1856, Royston Institute Museum was formed. It housed objects donated to raise funds for the building of a Mechanics Institute, which is now used as the Town Hall. Alfred Kingston, who wrote 'History of Royston', and Edmund Nunn, who excavated the burial mounds on Therfield Heath, were the original curators.

 

The museum was described in 1884 as being 'limited to a few dilapidated specimens of animal life of increasingly doubtful identity' with the odd relic seen through 'dusty or broken glass'. The museum subsequently closed and many artefacts were lost following the sale of the collection in 1901.

In 1965, Royston & District Local History Society was formed with the purpose of providing a museum for Royston, and members began collecting items of local historical interest. A few of the objects previously sold subsequently found their way back into the collection. In 1976, Royston Museum was opened in a small room at the back of the Town Hall but was later moved to a larger room on the other side of the building.

 

In 1982, Royston Town Council met with the History Society to discuss the establishment of a dedicated museum. In 1983, the Council leased the old school of the United Reformed Church on Lower King Street, and the new museum opened on Saturday 28 April 1984. It remains on that site today.

 

The museum continued to be owned and managed by Royston Town Council, while the Collection remained the property of the History Society.

In November 2021, an independent charity called Royston Museum Trust CIO was formed. The Trust took over ownership and management of the museum in March 2022.

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