Priestgate Vaults %7C Open For The First Time In 500 Years

Peterborough Museum’s 500 year-old vaults have opened to the public for the first time and are now offering tours around the spooky underground rooms with historic characters and ghostly apparitions.

The vaults, which are in the basement of the museum, have been used as storage up until recently but are now an attraction where visitors can learn about their history.

Movie-style effects have been used to create historic characters, which will be projected onto the cellar walls during the tour.

Characters include a mysterious Medieval monk and a young girl experiencing a bombing raid in World War Two, which destroyed buildings nearby in Priestgate.

The virtual characters talk to the public as they take the tour, and share the history of the building with them – talking about its early days as a Tudor Mansion and how it went on to become a Georgian magistrate’s home and Victorian hospital before finally becoming a museum in the 1930s.

In the coal seller, the projected character of nurse Ethel Reynolds talks about life in the Victorian hospital and how she often witnessed amputations on workers involved in accidents at Peterborough’s railway yards.

The tour concludes in the Ghost Room where most of the museum’s most active apparitions are said to have been spotted.

These include a hooded monk, a ghostly kitchen maid who fell to her death down some stairs and the Lonely Anzac, a grey figure who is said to be World War One solider Thomas Hunter who died in the building in 1916. He was seen most recently in August 2015.

Visitors will also learn about the different encounters experienced by staff, other guests and even ghost hunters.

Stuart Orme, Interpretation Manager at the Museum, commented, “The new ‘Priestgate Vaults’ attraction at the Museum is a brilliant opportunity for visitors to Peterborough and local people alike to experience 500 years of hidden history. It’s been really exciting to weave together features of an important historic building and new technology to bring these stories to life, not least some of the spooky happenings here!”

The timed tours of the Preistgate Vaults last for 45 minutes and multiple tours are available for larger groups.

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