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About the Museum of Lincolnshire Life

Our rich and varied social history collection reflects and celebrates the culture of Lincolnshire and its people from 1750 to the present day.

Exhibits illustrate commercial, domestic, agricultural, industrial and community life.

As the home to an authentic World War One tank named “Daphne” we also house the interactive galleries of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, which have won prestigious national awards. Perhaps you can find information about family members who served here?

We are pleased to offer a wide range of services including exhibitions in our community gallery, group quiz sessions and an education programme linked to the National Curriculum. We also have a number of ’loans boxes’ which can be hired by community organisations or schools and offer the chance to discover and handle object from the past.

Close to the museum you can visit the working 18th century windmill, Ellis Mill, run entirely by the museum’s volunteer millers (weekends only).

Museum history

The museum is housed in a Victorian barracks built for the Royal North Lincoln Militia in 1857.  It is a fine example of Victorian military architecture and is a Grade II listed building.

The Militia were a force of part time volunteer soldiers whose main role was home defence.  The Royal North Lincoln Militia used the barracks for training and administrative purposes and the site served as their headquarters until 1880. From this date the militia were based at the New Barracks (later Sobraon Barracks), also on Burton Road, which was headquarters to the Lincolnshire Regiment. In 1881 the Royal North Lincoln Militia officially amalgamated with the County Regiment to become the 3rdBattalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

For 20 years the site fell into relative disuse until in 1901 it was once again used by a military force. The Lincolnshire Imperial Yeomanry, a voluntary cavalry unit, used the barracks as its headquarters until it was disbanded in 1920.

The barracks building remained in military use, occupied by a variety of territorial and other army units, until 1963. Just 6 years later, on 29th July 1969, the Lincolnshire Association for the Arts and Heritage opened the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. The museum was run independently by the association until 1974, when it was transferred to Lincolnshire County Council.

Since its beginnings the museum has built up a fascinating collection of over 250,000 objects, both on display and in store. Today visitors can enjoy the charming period room and shop settings displaying our wonderful social history collection, with a working Victorian kitchen and printing press during special event days.

In addition the museum boasts a nationally important agricultural and industrial collection, including impressive steam engines, threshing machines and the iconic World War One tank developed and built by Foster’s of Lincoln. The museum is also home to the Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Galleries.

Contact us

Museum of Lincolnshire Life
Burton Road
Lincoln, LN1 3LY

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Last updated: 14 October 2016

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