Ancient Egypt comes to Lyme

Explore the fascinating world of ancient Egypt and mummified animals as Lyme hosts Manchester Museum’s travelling exhibition ‘Gifts for the Gods’ Animal Mummies Revealed.

'Gifts for the Gods' Animal Mummies Revealed

Saturday 10 March – Sunday 4 November, 11am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)

Delve deeper into the world of the ancient Egyptians

Gifts for the Gods, curated by Egyptology experts at Manchester Museum, will explain the background behind the religious practice of mummifying animals in ancient Egypt.

The display, located in the Long Gallery of the house, will combine mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds with cultural artefacts such as stone sculpture and bronze statuettes, alongside 19th Century works of art and never-before-seen archives.

Secrets of ancient Egypt revealed with 21st century technology
A scan showing the contents of a mummified crocodile by Manchester Museum
Secrets of ancient Egypt revealed with 21st century technology

Lyme’s very own Egyptologist

Thomas Legh who owned Lyme in the Regency period, was an avid traveller and visited parts of Egypt never before explored by Europeans. Through this exciting exhibition, which will showcase items from Manchester Museum’s own collection, we hope to bring to life Thomas travels and the things he may have discovered and witnessed whilst taking part in and funding excavations.

His book Narrative of a Journey and the Country Beyond the Cataracts, first published in 1816, documents his travels in Egypt and the surrounding lands.

Thomas Legh, Lyme’s very own Regency Indiana Jones.
Thomas Legh, Lyme's intrepid explorer.
Thomas Legh, Lyme’s very own Regency Indiana Jones.

Britain’s love for ancient Egypt

The exhibition will explore the British fascination with ancient Egypt and the mysteries of the animal mummies. Alongside the pyramids of Giza, one of the main tourist attractions in Egypt during the 18th and 19th centuries was the ‘Tombs of the Birds’, a catacomb at the site of Saqqara, subsequently lost and only re-identified in the 1960s by a British team. 

Dr Lidija McKnight, Dr Campbell Price and Dr Stephanie Atherton-Woolham, Egyptology experts from Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum

Find out more about Manchester Museum’s extensive Egyptology collection, one of the most significant in Europe.

Mummified crocodile being scanned at Manchester Royal Infirmary

Animal Mummies Revealed: Talks and tours

A series of talks and tours, delivered by experts in the field of Egyptology, will give visitors the chance to delve a little deeper in to this fascinating subject.