museums & gallery

Spalding Gentlemen’s Society Museum

The Museum houses an exciting collection of local and international artefacts, together with a historic library and archive.

Founded over 300 years ago as a learned society, it is still thriving with an active membership and regular opening times for visitors and researchers.

The museum itself grew out of the original members collection of objects, etc and we still retain many of that original collection today. This makes the museum an important early example of an original eighteenth century ‘cabinet of curiosities’.

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The Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, one of the oldest learned societies in the Kingdom and the earliest provincial association for the encouragement of antiquarianism, was founded by Maurice Johnson (1688-1755), “The Antiquary”, of Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding.

It began with a series of informal meetings of a few local gentlemen at a coffee-house in the Abbey Yard, Spalding, in 1710 to discuss local antiquities and to read The Tatler, a newly published London periodical. In 1712 it was decided to place these meetings upon a permanent footing and proposals were issued for the establishing of “a Society of Gentlemen, for the supporting of mutual benevolence, and their improvement in the liberal sciences and in polite learning”. In that year formal meetings began with the appointment of officers and the keeping in minutes. The founder, Maurice Johnson, also played a leading part in refounding the Society of Antiquaries of London, and for some years an exchange of minutes took place. Francis, Duke of Buccleuch (1695-1751), Lord of the Manor of Spalding-cum-Membris, became Patron of the Society in 1732.

Today the society is still thriving with an active membership over 18, maintaining an active calendar of lectures and events which are open to all. See our website and social media for more details

opening times

Tuesday - Saturday
10:00 - 16:00

entry & prices

Free entry but donations welcome.

more information

Spalding Gentlemen’s Society

Broad Street


PE11 1TB