The history of Mersea and the surrounding areas. The many exhibits include sections on Local History, Natural History, Social History,Marine and Geology.
The main exhibition is new every year. It is still being developed:
Do you remember ?
- some Events that made the News
1897 Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Triplets born on Mersea.
1907 the Edwardian era Grand plans for development on Mersea Island. Marine Lake opened at Tollesbury.
1917 World War I
1937 Coronation of King George VI
1947 a hard winter, peacetime life returning
1957 Mehalah produced by Mersea Island Dramatic Club. A new Fire Engine for the Island.
1967 Automatic Telephone Exchange. Pirate Radio controlled.
1987 - the Hurricane Much damage on the Island. Houses lost their walls and roofs. Caravans and beach huts wrecked. Trees down.
Paddington Bear Peggy Fortnum, who illustrated the Paddington Bear books, died last year. She lived on Mersea for many years.
Mersea Island Lions Club Celebrating the Centenery of Lions International in Great Britain.
A changing selection of pictures, maps, photographs and postcards show the history of Mersea and its residents from the 19th Century. The beach hut illustrates a feature of holidays in Mersea that is close to many people's hearts. The section also includes Archaeological finds such as Roman remains, tiles and pottery. Bellamine and Martabani Jars (17th Century) and Amphora (Roman Vase) are also on show.
Wildlife of the local marshes and mudflats. Some of the birds, shellfish and fish to be found in the marshes, mudlflats, creeks and sea around Mersea Island.
Farming, Fishing, Oyster Cultivation
Farming, Fishing and Oysters were the mainstay of the island's economy for many years and continue to thrive.
A large section of the Museum with exhibits covering more than two centuries.
The reconstruction of a typical weather-boarded fisherman's cottage is centred on a Victorian coal-fired kitchen range, with adjoining facilities for washing clothes using old-fashioned manual equipment. It helps to create the 'Old Mersea' atmosphere, together with many articles used by local people in earlier times.
Models of boats and local craft, together with old fishing equipment and boat building tools. Photographs of smacks at work, yachts, houseboats, barges.
The Museum holds a fine 1919 Punt made locally by William Wyatt complete with its original gun, used in Mersea for many years.
On display is a West Mersea One Design dinghy from 1930 with shipwright tools. The dinghy is the KALI, later renamed BUZZING BEE. She was bought by John Leather about 45 years ago and is still owned by the Leather Family.
The John Leather Memorial Collection contains John's library of books, boat plans, research papers and photographs.
Fossil and fossilized material drawn from a wide range of
locations, together with a collection of rocks and minerals,
are on display including crystals and ore deposits,
and all are well documented.
We have copies of parish records and other information
and so are able to answer many family history queries.
Family trees have been built for several well-known Mersea families.
A database is being built containing names from Mersea and surrounding parishes
recorded in parish records, tithe maps, baptism records and censuses.
The Museum has over 35,000 historic photographs which can be displayed on computers in the Resource Centre. The collection covers Mersea and the surrounding area, local people, fishing,oystering, shipping, barges, smacks, farming yachting and more. Most of the photographs in the John Leather Memorial Collection have now been digitised and can be viewed. An audio-visual slide show on Mersea runs in the main museum and other themed slideshows can be run in the Resource Centre.
We have a variety of picture quizzes, puzzles, sketching activities etc. around the Museum for children (and for adults). Special visits are organised for schools and other groups.