This property was the former residence of Oliver Cromwell, the only former residence of the Lord Protector which still exists, with the exception of his brief time at Hampton Court. The property has had numerous uses over the years, having been turned into a pub by the nineteenth century. The property was also used as a vicarage for the adjoining St. Mary’s Church and is now used as a museum and tourist information office.
Cromwell inherited this property in 1636 and also took on the responsibility of being the collector of tithes for Ely Cathedral. The timing was fortune for Cromwell who had fallen on hard times and had to sell his properties in Huntingdon (for which he was the MP from 1628 until 1629). His restored wealth and importance was of a benefit to him when he became the MP for Cambridge in 1640.
This plaque reads “the home of Oliver Cromwell and his family. Cromwell rose to power during the English Civil Wars, to become ‘Lord Protector of the Commonwealth’ during England’s brief period as a republic in the mid-17th century. The Cromwell family lived in Ely for some ten years from 1636 until 1646”.
The entrance to Cromwell’s bedroom.
I didn’t see a ghost…..
A wooden statue of Cromwell.
A fireplace in the family’s kitchen.
Displays of food that might have been eaten at the time that Cromwell’s family lived here.
A period recreation of Oliver Cromwell working in one of the rooms, of which there are eight in the museum. There are also numerous inter-active exhibits and displays to hold the attention of children.
The museum uses its displays to tell the story of Cromwell and for visitors to make their own decision on whether he was a good man or a bad man. As usual, these things aren’t black and white, but the displays are thoughtfully put together.
There are displays which tell the history of the building, as well as the story of how Oliver Cromwell came to prominence. There’s also an explanation of the English Civil War and Cromwell’s importance in that.
There’s an admission charge of £5 for adults and £3.50 for children, with a visit lasting for around an hour.