in Gallery 1 - Oldham Stories exhibitionThe Big Big CameraOur Collections
Lancashire Life in 70 Objects – Vote for your favourite object
In Gallery 1 – Oldham Stories exhibition
In Gallery 2 – Ann Sutton: On the Grid
In Gallery 3 – The Big Big Camera
In Gallery 4 – Watercolours from the Lees Collection
Exciting announcement for Oldham…
Our Collections

Opening times

We are open six days a week:

Monday-Saturday 10am – 5pm

Last admission to the galleries 4.45 pm

We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays


Admission is free! We have a shop, cafe, large lifts, accessible toilets, and baby changing facilities.

Map and visitor information

Latest News

  • History of Lancashire in 70 Objects

    As part of a project to celebrate Lancashire Life’s 70th Birthday – Gallery Oldham needs your help in picking your favourite object to tell the story of the history of Lancashire. 70 of the final objects from across the North West will be selected to feature in both the magazine and a visitor trail from September – November 2017.

  • Christmas Opening Times

    Over the festive period we will have alternative opening times and be closed on certain during the Christmas break. Please find these dates and times below. We would advise checking the website or calling our direct number prior to any visit close to Christmas to avoid disappointment.   Christmas Eve – Sat 24th December, 10am […]

  • Nightshade – Manchester Science Festival

    This week I’ve been working at Gallery Oldham creating an installation of paper forms inspired by current exhibition ‘Art Forms in Nature’, a series of photographs by Karl Blossfeldt. The photographs show plant forms magnified up to 30 times their normal size allowing you to see their structure and detail. The paper plant and flower […]

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Events & Activities

Thu 26

GO Baby

January 26 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Fri 27

GO Explorers

January 27 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Sat 28

Lantern building workshop

January 28 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Feb 02

GO Baby

February 2 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Twitter latest

Photo: Exhibition Space


We have four large exhibition spaces plus a community gallery. We take an innovative and unique approach to exhibition programming, bringing together what were once separate museum and gallery services.

See our current exhibitions →
Photo: What's on

What's On

There is always plenty happening at Gallery Oldham! Check the calendar to see forthcoming talks and tours, art and craft courses, family activities, cinema showings and other events.

See what's on →
Photo: Lowry painting

Our Collections

Our collections include over 12,000 social history items, 3,000 works of art, 80,000 natural history specimens, 15,000 photographs and a large number of books, pamphlets and documents.

More about our collections →
Photo: cafe

Naked Bean Cafe

Oldham’s favourite lunch spot! The cafe in Oldham Gallery is the perfect place to meet friends or colleagues for a bite to eat, or just for coffee. Families are very welcome.

Find out more →
Photo: Kids hands

Kids & Families

We have bags of free fun activities. Super Saturdays creative family fun, come and drop in!. Go Baby! sessions every Thursday. Free activities in the school holidays, and more..

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Photo: Gallery Trail

Gallery Trail

Follow our new Gallery Trail which highlights objects of interest around the building. You can see items from our collections and a range of exhibitions throughout Gallery Oldham.

Find out more →
Photo: Gallery Oldham Shop

Gallery Shop

Our shop sells souvenirs and gifts to suit all ages and pockets including a wide range of crafts and jewellery, cards and postcards, engraved crystal, exhibition catalogues and books.

Find out more →
Photo: Old Post Office Oldham

Oldham Local Studies

Explore your family history; find out how Oldham has changed with the development of new communities; uncover the story of Oldham from village to cotton capital of the world.

Find out more →

Gallery on Instagram

  • Here's smartly dressed James Nield sat amongst an amazing discovery. To vote for the glass lantern slide of the fossil forest to go into @lancashirelifemag  Click ➡️@galleryoldham and follow the link. 
James Nield ran a printing business in Oldham but he was fascinated by the natural world. When these remarkable fossils were uncovered in a sandstone quarry on Oldham Edge in 1879 it was he who realised their importance. The fossils consisted of twelve standing trees and Nield brought all manner of experts to Oldham to examine them.  At the time they were termed ‘The Wonder of Europe’. These fossils formed about 300 million years ago (Carboniferous geological period) when the area where Oldham is now was covered in a vast tropical wetland. Here a forest with a rich understory of ferns and horsetails and huge trees grew. Over many millions of years the plants decayed in the swamps and this was the start of a process that would finally form seams of coal. At the same time river sediments and deltas formed sandstones. Eventually the climate changed, becoming cooler and drier causing the extinction of most of these plant species now only found as fossils.

Nield had the fossils removed and taken to the grounds of Bluecoat School where they still are today. Although coal and sandstones of this period stretch across much of Lancashire only Oldham can lay fame to such a remarkable find as depicted in this image.

#geology #fossil #carboniferous #fossilforest #slide #blackandwhite #galleryoldham #oldham #oldhamedge #jamesnield
  • You could also vote for the pair of cotton cops, spun 100 years apart. To vote for this click ➡️ @galleryoldham and follow the link. 
This small display case contains two cotton cops. One cop dates from 1735 and it is deliberately paired with a cop spun in 1885 at Marsland Mill in Oldham.

The donor was William Mannock, the owner of Marsland Mill in Oldham. This pair of cotton cops was one of the very first acquisitions of the new Oldham Museum & Art Gallery and shows the importance of cotton to the town. Oldham’s new museum opened with a ‘Fine Arts & Industrial Exhibition’ which included modern textile machinery from local firms alongside more historic items.

Mill owner William Mannock had this pair of cotton cops mounted into a case along with the invoice that dated the earlier example to 1735. His intention was to show the long tradition of cotton spinning in the area. #cotton #cop #textiles #mill #industry #oldham #galleryoldham #marsland
  • What about the Oldham panorama? Look at all those chimneys! To vote for it ➡️ @galleryoldham and follow the link. 
This series of nine photographs was taken from the roof of the Star Corn Mill on Woodstock Street in Oldham. The Oldham Panorama is one of the best visual records of the transformation of North West England into an industrial powerhouse. It was in the 1870s that Oldham moved into prominence as the largest cotton-spinning town in the world and this photograph captures the growth that accompanied this economic boom.

At first the image is dominated by the railway, terraced houses, the gasworks, coalmines and mills all crowded closely together. But look more closely and you will see a field of sheep and several other open spaces that are yet to be filled in as the town rapidly expands. Far harder to spot are any people – the picture was taken during wakes week when the view wasn’t spoilt by smoking chimneys and when most workers had left the town.

A large reproduction of this photograph is on permanent display at Gallery Oldham.
#photography #oldham #pano #panorama #chimney #blackandwhite #victorian #milltown #upnorth #cotton
  • The Olympia typewriter is one of our objects you can vote for in the @lancashirelifemag history of Lancashire in 70 objects. Click ➡️ @galleryoldham and follow the link to vote! 
This typewriter was donated by ORIC (Oldham’s Asian Languages Translation service) which later became Voluntary Action Oldham. The typewriter was donated to the group by a local company in 1983.

Between 1983 and 1993 this machine was used by ORIC (Oldham’s Asian Languages Translation service) to produce leaflets for new arrivals to the town. The group translated leaflets into several languages to help recent immigrants who arrived in the 1970s and 1980s to work in the town’s textile mills. The machine was finally replaced with a PC in 1993.

#typewriter #urdu #olympia #lancashire #oldham #textiles #immigration #loveoldham #type #1970s #1980s #1990s

#GalleryOldham on Instagram