Hidden Histories

All objects have a story to tell. Some stories are well known and are easy to hear, but others are forgotten about, ignored or are difficult to share. Behind the labels for the objects in museums are untold stories, which we are seeking to reveal.

We recognise that our permanent displays do not fully represent the people of Colchester. Through an ongoing series of projects, displays and interventions we aim to uncover more diverse stories. Working with local people, partners and schools this programme will give a voice to some of these hidden histories. 

So far…


29th March 2023 – 7th June 2023


This display at Colchester Castle explores the lack of representation for Autistic people in museums. Karl, formerly a Curating for Change trainee with Colchester Museums, highlights some of the many ways in which we can share the stories of disability and neurodivergence using objects. 


From 4th March 2023


The British Empire ruled over areas across several continents, including North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. By 1913, it became the largest in history. A series of interventions at Hollytrees Museum explore stories behind some of the objects linked to that empire.

Wicked Spirits?

16th July 2022 – 8th January 2023


Colchester Castle was a key landmark in the Essex witch trials. Hundreds were imprisoned on suspicion of being a witch. Today, many of the stories of victims are at risk of being lost – overshadowed by tales of people like the famous Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.

West African Gold

17th May 2021 – 21st June 2022


During the medieval period, around 60% of the gold in Europe originated from West Africa. It is therefore likely that some of the medieval gold objects in the museum collection come from that region. We asked local people from West Africa to help us tell that story.

What's On


Discover something new in Colchester. Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our displays showcase the variety of the collections from art to archaeology, costume to clocks.


Where will your adventure start?