Night Owls Invited to the Museum

Salisbury Museum is opening its doors after hours on Friday 14th May as part of the annual, national celebration, Museums at Night. This is the first time Salisbury Museum has taken part in this event and it’s guaranteed to be a unique experience. Between 6pm and 9.30pm, visitors of all ages will not only have an opportunity to explore the museum after dark, but they will also find themselves face to face with some fascinating characters from Salisbury’s past.

During the evening younger visitors will be invited to tackle a set of challenges inspired by the CBBC TV series Relic: Guardians of the Museum, in which children race against time to uncover the secrets of a famous object. The CBBC show, developed in partnership with the British Museum, challenges children to put their skill and ingenuity to the test and the Relic Trail will allow families to do exactly the same thing on their journey through the museum.

Quote from Jamie Rea, Executive Producer at CBBC: "Bringing history to life was the inspiration for the CBBC series and these trails give families the chance to do just that as they discover the stories and personalities behind their local museum's collection.  We hope that the families taking part will not only love the challenge of completing the Relic Trails but will also learn something new about the objects they encounter."

On hand to help during evening will be the formidable Mrs Duncan, the first superintendent of the Teacher Training College which was once housed in the museum’s historic building. Mrs Duncan became the principal of the College over 170 years ago and has come back for this special evening to keep control of the museum. Because visitors will not only be able to discover the museum’s treasures with our Victorian school teacher, and her good friend, Lieutenant-General Augustus Pitt Rivers, there will also be Saxon Warriors threatening to invade Salisbury, a chance to chat with the Amesbury Archer, and Medieval knights trying to find their possessions lost in Salisbury over 700 years ago. You’ll also need to watch your back because our naughty hobby horse, Hob Nob, will be on the loose and up to mischief.

With all this going on the evening already promises to be exciting, but there will be lots more on offer to suit a range of interests, from performances by members of Salisbury Cathedral’s Junior Choir to seeing our Natural History collection come to life thanks to local charity, Wildlife Rescue, who will be bringing along some of their feathered friends. Adults are also invited to explore the hidden wonders of the museum by booking a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour running at 6.30pm and 8.00pm. These tours last for 30 minutes and are suitable for anyone over the age of 12, so during the tours younger visitors over the age of 6, can come along and be supervised during a special screening of the CBBC game show Relic, in the museum’s Lecture Hall. And if you think after all that you’ll need something to keep your strength up, The Kings House Café will be open later serving delicious refreshments and light suppers. Just phone Kay on 07979915124 to reserve your table.

To help bring the collections to life Salisbury Museum is also looking for people with skills associated with objects currently on display, or with the local history of the area. Anyone who thinks they can support visitors to understand the past through a demonstration or performance are encouraged to contact Laura Bullivant, Learning and Outreach Officer on 01722 820540 or email

Quote from Laura Bullivant, Learning and Outreach Officer at Salisbury Museum: ‘We chose to hold our first ever Museums at Night event this year because we think it is a wonderful way for young and old to come together and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum. We want to create a really interactive, sensory experience that helps visitors explore the stories within the museums collections’.

Notes to Editors: 

  • Booking Details - Booking required, phone 01722 332151
  • Cost: £12.00 for adults, £8.00 concession, £4.00 child (under 16), £24.00 family (2 adults/4 children). The cost of admission includes a free annual pass to the museum.
  • The evening is free to members and annual ticket holders.

Visit for more details

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
The Museum is a limited liability company (no. 1826436) and a registered charity (no. 289850). It is Accredited by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (no. 878). Its archaeological collections in particular are of national significance and they received Department for Culture, Media and Sport Designated status in 1998.

Museums at Night 2010

  1. Museums at Night 2010 - 'Museums at Night' is a national campaign, led by Culture24, and funded by MLA to showcase the unique and vibrant museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries and archives in the UK.
  2. Museums at Night will take place during the weekend of Friday-Sunday 14-16 May and the Europe-wide celebration will be on Saturday May 15.
  3. Culture24 is a registered charity and not-for-profit online publisher working across the arts, heritage, education, and tourism sectors.
  4. The MLA is the government agency for museums, libraries and archives. Leading strategically, the MLA promotes best practice to inspire innovative, integrated and sustainable services for all.
  5. La Nuit des Musées was introduced by the French Culture Department in 2005 to succeed Printemps des Musées, and takes place on the Saturday nearest to International Museums Day (May 18). This event is supported by the Council of Europe and UNESCO. In 2009, more than 2,500 museums in 41 European countries took part.