|THE NORRIS MUSEUM
IS THE MUSEUM OF HUNTINGDONSHIRE. IT TELLS THE STORY OF THIS HISTORIC
COUNTY FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY.
THE OLDEST OBJECTS IN THE MUSEUM are the remains of animals that
lived here 160 million years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs. Huntingdonshire
was under the sea in those days and you can see the fossil bones
of the great marine reptiles - Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs - that
MORE RECENT INHABITANTS OF THE AREA were the Woolly Mammoths that
were here in the Ice Ages - you can see bones, teeth and a tusk
which have been found locally.
PEOPLE HAVE LIVED IN HUNTINGDONSHIRE for a quarter of a million
years. On display at the Norris are the flint tools of the first
Stone Age settlers, and weapons and pottery from the Bronze Age
and the Iron Age. There are finds from local Roman cemeteries and
a reconstruction of the Roman town of Godmanchester.
WE HAVE ARMS AND ARMOUR from the Civil War, when Huntingdon was
the birthplace of the Roundhead commander Oliver Cromwell and King
Charles passed through the county as a hunted fugitive.
FROM A LATER WAR come intricate objects of bone and straw made
by French inmates of the prison camp at Norman Cross during the
Napoleonic Wars. And there are displays of the local craft of lace-making
and the local sport of ice-skating on the flooded Fens.
OUR VIDEO SCREEN shows you films of the Fen skaters in action,
and of traction engines that were built at St Ives by the family
firm of Fowells.
THE NORRIS MUSEUM WAS FOUNDED BY HERBERT NORRIS, who left his lifetime's
collection of Huntingdonshire relics to the people of St Ives when
he died in 1931.
AS WELL AS THE MUSEUM COLLECTIONS, the Norris Museum has an art
gallery showing paintings of the local landscape. There is also
a research library (by appointment only).