Ely is well known for its stunning cathedral, and this is a great place to start your historical visit to the city.
The construction of this inspiring building began in 1080 and was completed towards the end of the 14th century. Its blend of Romanesque and decorated gothic architecture makes it a must-see for your visit.
But Ely has so much more history to offer than just the cathedral.
The Stained Glass Museum is the only museum dedicated to the art of stained glass in the UK. It maps out an 800-year history of stained glass and displays the skills used in its production. The museum also offers workshops in painting, leading, glass fusing and more.
Ely Museum holds a permanent exhibition over nine galleries covering different eras, including the Bronze Age, Saxons, Victorians, and the two world wars. It also houses a mesmerising Bronze Age gold torc, discovered locally in 2017 and valued at £220,000. In addition, visitors can investigate the historic activities of times gone by in Ely, including eel catching and hunting waterfowl with huge guns mounted to punts.
It is well worth taking a short drive to Burwell Museum, just outside Ely. This agricultural museum has an assortment of rural buildings that were built on the site or relocated to it. One of its most popular features is the 18th-century timber barn, and it has also a wide selection of interactive exhibits and multimedia. Along with the farm machinery, there are vintage cars, buses, motorcycles, carts and prams at this hands-on museum.
Finally, we would recommend Prickwillow Engine Museum, just outside Ely on the River Lark. This museum was a former pumping station that helped keep the beautiful landscape of Ely inhabitable. It now houses a wide array of working diesel pumping engines, and there is even an engineer on hand who has worked on the machines.
Where have we missed that you think should definitely be on the list for a historical visit to Ely?
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