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History Detectives

settlement gallery

Explore the galleries and investigate local life over thousands of years of human history using real and replica artefacts.


Sessions are aimed at primary age pupils, but can be adapted to suit older students-ask for details.


Make a day of your visit and combine any two sessions with a self-led Explore of The Higgins. 


objects handeling



Explore The Higgins' rich collection of locally-excavated artefacts, including the replica Bronze Age Archer Burial, and discover how early people developed from survival to settlement.



Discover what life was like in Roman Bedfordshire, from local settlements to invading soldiers. Investigate and handle real and replica Roman artefacts, including military armour and equipment.



Discover the impact of Saxon life in Bedfordshire. Using objects, place-names and maps, explore Anglo-Saxon fashion, trade, crafts skills and beliefs. 



Take part in hands-on activities, examine real and replica local artefacts. Have a go at carding and weaving and discover how the Vikings made their own fabrics.


The Castle

Using artefacts and costumes, discover the stories of the people who lived and worked in Bedford Castle, particularly through the siege of 1224.



Experience the hard work of a Victorian servant through a variety of tasks. Discover toys of the past, Victorian costumes, the changing fashions of the home and the aspirations of our Victorian ancestors.




bedfordshire at war

Explore a range of objects, photos and memories and discover more about life in Bedfordshire during this significant time, including air raids, rationing and ‘Make Do and Mend’. 


Time Travellers

A time traveller's guide to the history of north Bedfordshire from life under the sea to the present day! Examine buildings, archaeological remains and maps to find clues to the changing use of the land from Saxon settlement and Norman castle to Victorian industry and 21st century culture.