19th June 2021 – 5th September 2021


Five of the most prominent medical practitioners are arriving at The Beacon Museum – and they’re staying for the Summer.

From Saturday 19th June, visitors will be able to discover the often gruesome cures used in Medieval England by medical practitioners including a barber surgeon, an apothecary, a cunning woman, a religious figure and a physician.

The arrival of these healers marks the launch of the The Beacon Museums ‘Medieval Medicine’ exhibition, a touring exhibition from The JORVIK Group of Attractions, operators of the award-winning JORVIK Viking Centre.

With a physician’s uroscopy wheel, an apothecary’s table and the barber surgeon’s tool chest, there’s plenty of hands-on ways to discover the methods practiced in medieval times. Learn more about disease, illness and treatment through three medieval skeletons on display, including one who shows signs of leprosy.

She is accompanied by a facial reconstruction, helping visitors understand about how this individual may have looked as the disease developed.

The exhibition also brings an exclusive short film, written by Terry Deary – author of the Horrible Histories series – entitled A Touch of Plague as part of the family-friendly content on offer.

Our group of medical practitioners which are represented within the exhibition: Apothecary, religious figure, barber surgeon, cunning woman, physician. The exhibition brings the treatment methods of the medieval era to life.

10th July 2021 – 3rd October 2021

A photographic trip through Copeland in the 50s and 60s, the work of local photographer, Ivor Nicholas, showcases Copeland’s towns and villages in this era.

Mr Nicholas’ career spans seven decades and he has taken over 25,000 negative images. Many of his works feature black and white imagery of Copeland’s towns including Whitehaven, Egremont, and Millom.

He spent much of his career with the Cumbrian Newspaper Group and ITV Border where he was also behind the video camera.

Stationed at RAF Gibraltar in 1953, he was given the chance to enter the National Service as a photographer because of his civilian interest and skills.

Local wine merchant, Gerard Richardson MBE, who helped create the exhibition, said: “I met Ivor in 1999 while organising the Whitehaven Festival. Ivor is one of the custodians of the local area’s past, and sometimes forgotten, landscape.”

In addition to Ivor’s fascinating pictures, there will also be Copeland images dating back as far the 1890s from the Sankey family. These have been curated as part of a volunteer project with Signal Film and Media.

The Rediscover Copeland exhibition will be on display at The Beacon Museum from July 10 to October 3.


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