Campaign to Save the Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon

An appeal posted on behalf of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.

Many of you may not know of the appalling proposal to close the Cromwell Museum.  Don’t be deceived by the notion that this is a remote possibility and that some ‘alternative provider’ is likely to come to the rescue.  A website has been set up to campaign to save the Museum  and has already attracted some high-powered support.  It gives you the opportunity to express your support for the museum by signing their petition, that will take you only a few moments.

Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon in 1599. He became Lord Protector in 1653, the head of a British republic. His rise to power was extraordinary. The purpose of the Cromwell Museum is to interpret his life and legacy through portraits, documents and objects associated with Cromwell.

The Museum opened in 1962 in the old grammar school where Cromwell had been a pupil. After leaving school Cromwell studied briefly at Cambridge before marrying and settling in Huntingdon. He later lived in St Ives and Ely.  Cromwell was driven by his religious commitment from the 1630s onwards. As MP for Cambridge he became an active soldier in the English Civil Wars of the 1640s. His success on the battlefield and his skill as a politician led him to power as Lord Protector. At his death on September 3rd 1658 he was the head of state, and for some a ‘king in all but name’. He is an intensely controversial and fascinating figure of British history.
The Museum sets out neither to celebrate or denigrate his achievements but to interpret where possible the significance of ‘God’s Englishman’.

A separate petition is also now on the Council’s website.  Do sign this too.  A critical number of petitions will require the Council to debate the issue at full Council, so we need all the support we can get.

And then of course get your family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Please share this information on Facebook and Twitter if you can. If this museum closes it is a loss to this nation so please support the campaign wherever you live. Finally – and this I appreciate takes a bit more time and energy – send your county councillor and MP an email about the issue.

It seems quite incredible that this museum (Oliver Cromwell’s school in Huntingdon) should be threatened with closure. Oliver Cromwell’s part in this nation’s history was pivotal and the closure of this important link with the man himself cannot be justified. With the guided bus way improving links between Cambridge and Huntingdon surely visitors to Cambridge can be encouraged to use the bus way and visit this museum and the Norris Museum in St Ives. The closure of the Cromwell Museum is a serious threat to this nations heritage and your help in saving it would be much appreciated.

For more information on the Cromwell Museum please visit:

http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/museums/cromwell/

Hilary Stroud (CAS Publicity Officer)