The Bagshaw Gallery is a tribute to the Bagshaw family's commitment to the museum and to the diversity of their collecting. It is home to a wide variety of artefacts and objects including natural history materials, social history objects and souvenirs of the family's travels overseas. It retains some of its original stencilled window shutters and a delicate hand-painted ceiling featuring the points of the compass and medieval romantic scenes. The exhibition cases were designed to reflect the original decorations of the room and the wallpaper is a hand-printed reproduction design of the period.
Local history galleries: People that we meet gallery and Places on the street gallery
People that we meet
A celebration of local people's stories, told in objects and sound. At the end of the 19th Century, Batley was a town of contrasts. Over the years people have moved to Batley in search of work, to be with families or to escape war, poverty or famine. The contribution they have made to the town through their lives, cultures and traditions has been enormous.
Places on the street
A homage to local institutions such as Fox's Biscuits and the world famous Batley Variety Club where some of the music industry's biggest and brightest stars including Louis Armstrong, Dusty Springfield and Shirley Bassey all performed to the people of Batley.
Africa: Step into Africa
Africa is the world's second-largest continent. A land of diversity with contrasts in its geography, climate, culture and wildlife as well as being home to over one billion people in fifty-four countries. Our gallery is one room. We cannot present a complete story of Africa but we bring into the gallery those elements of African culture and history that are represented within the Kirklees collections including musical instruments, art and costume.
Ancient Egypt: The Kingdom of Osiris
A stunningly atmospheric gallery where dramatic lighting effects help bring to life the experience of exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb.
Marvel at our very rare complete cartonnage mask, the face of an Egyptian woman presented to the gods in the afterlife. Find the mummified human hand and learn about the process to preserve the body after death. Admire the jewellery, cosmetics, mirrors and containers the dead considered essential to accompany them into the next life.
Discover the sarcophagus of Ta-di-ta-nebet-hen with all its intricate and mysterious decoration. Learn what ancient Egyptians ate, the textiles they wove, and how they recorded their lives.
The Mummy Returns
From January to April 2016, a major central London exhibition featured more than 40 rare ancient Egyptian artefacts from Bagshaw Museum, including two stunning funerary masks and the beautiful Stela (memorial stone).
These fabulous and unique artefacts have now returned to Batley and are back on display at Bagshaw!
'Beyond Beauty: Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt' at Two Temple Place in London presented the ancient Egyptians at their most varied and spectacular, as well as glimpsing them at their most intimate and human.
The exhibition explored the day-to-day routines of ancient Egyptians and the importance of appearance in the afterlife. Exquisite painted coffins, funerary masks and mummy portraits were brought together with ancient mirrors, clothing, jewellery and beauty tools to reveal a civilisation fascinated by transforming their appearance in this life and the next.
The artefacts were gathered together for the first time ever from key collections across the UK, including Bagshaw Museum, in the magnificent surroundings of Two Temple Place, London.
South Asia: The Spirit of South Asia
Get a glimpse into the richness of life and culture in South Asia, listen to local people talk about what it is like to be a South Asian living in Kirklees, admire the beauty of the area's decorative arts and come face to face with a Ganges crocodile.
Seaside: Wish You Were Here
Built around the Seabird Case - a magnificent display which recreates the seabird cliffs at Bempton on Yorkshire's coast. Thousands of seabirds gather there in nesting season, among them puffin, guillemot, razorbill, kittiwake and rock dove. Commissioned by Walter Bagshaw in 1913, as a memorial to his brother Charles, it is an excellent example of early 20th Century taxidermy. Here you can also have a go at Punch and Judy, tie sailor's knots and write a postcard.
Victorian Picture Gallery
Added in 1882, this was originally a billiard room and is now home to a selection of late 19th Century paintings from the Kirklees collection, many of which were acquired originally by Walter Bagshaw in the early days of the museum including works by Conrad Kiesel.
The Victorian Picture Gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions, events and meetings.
Get in touch with a member of our team.
Receive news and updates from our museums and galleries, and find out more about our events and exhibitions.
Your support allows us to develop our programme of exhibitions and educational activities, care for our collections and to bring the exciting stories of Kirklees to life.