A new permanent gallery - ‘Origins: Reimagining Cumbrian Prehistory’ explains how the first inhabitants of Cumbria lived and brings to life ancient Cumbrian stories. 

Rare collections reveal the connection between the early peoples of Cumbria and their relationship with the outstanding local landscapes. As prehistoric people made their way across the land, the natural world provided their communities with opportunities to grow, and to develop their own customs, cultures and identities.

‘Origins’ examines over 8,000 years of prehistoric human activity, with displays exploring the advanced technologies that were developed from materials like stone, metal, animal bone and glass. Some of these materials were found in Cumbria and others were traded from afar. Look out for stunning examples of stone and metal axes, impressive golden jewellery, mysterious carved stoneware and highly decorated ceramics, all of which reveal the complex societies and surprisingly advanced skills of our predecessors.

A fully impressive sense of what life was like 8,000 years ago has been created with the aid of film, photography and audio. The new sensory stations provide visitors with the opportunity to touch and feel 8,000 years old objects which bridge the gap between visitors and their distant past.