This art gallery was built to house more than 200 oil paintings, watercolours and ceramics collected by local paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley. It displays world-famous paintings such as Turner’s Calais Sands and Constable’s Hampstead Heath, along with changing exhibitions. In the basement is the museum which, if you are visiting with a pram, is the first port of call as it has ramp access, avoiding the grand stone steps up to the main entrance. Here, visitors can view a variety of themed displays and exhibitions of Bury’s past.
The art gallery is our favourite, as it is something of a work of art in itself, with fine mosaic floors and stained glass windows. Picture bags can be borrowed that are bursting with activities and drawing materials. On our visit during the school holidays, plenty of colourful paper, glue and pens were set out to inspire visitors to design feathers for a large bird mural. We followed this with a bit of dressing up. Brilliantly, costumes similar to those in the paintings are put on a rail, so children can dress up and then find themselves in the pictures. There is also a good game involving laminated sheets that show eyes which you have to spot in the paintings. New at the museum is Barney’s Art Café selling steaming coffees, cakes and juices.
So if you’re in Bury and fancy a bit of culture or a coffee, it’s definitely worth stopping by. You could always combine it with a trip to The Fusilier Museum across the road.
Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4.30pm. Admission free.
Bury Art Museum, Moss Street, Bury,
Lancashire BL9 0DR
Tel: 0161 253 5878 bury.gov.uk/arts