The large Bronze Age Gold Torc on display at Ely Museum


The logo of Ely Museum

to achieve their fundraising goals

Nestled in the heart of Ely you will find the Grade II listed Old Gaol building. The Old Gaol has been at the centre of life in Ely for 700 years. While its name refers to the 157 years it spent as the Bishop’s Gaol, the building has also been a private house, a tavern, a library, a store, a registry office and – since 1997 – home to Ely Museum.

Ely Museum tells the story of Ely and the surrounding Fenlands, with objects and artefacts from prehistory to the twentieth century.

Apollo Fundraising has helped Ely Museum on two projects:

Bringing home the East Cambridgeshire Gold Torc

In 2016, an amateur metal detectorist made a remarkable discovery in an East Cambridgeshire field – a gigantic 3,000 year old Gold Torc. Weighing 732 grams and measuring 126.5cm in length it is one of the largest ever found in Britain.

Having been declared as treasure, Ely Museum had the opportunity to acquire the Gold Torc – as long as it could raise the £220,000 needed to buy it.

As part of the SHARED Enterprise programme, Apollo Fundraising worked with the team at Ely Museum to identify possible grant funders for the acquisition, as well as planning out an Individual Giving campaign.

Having successfully raised the required funds, Ely Museum were able to buy the Gold Torc, keeping it in East Cambridgeshire where it belongs. You can now see this incredible example of Bronze Age craftsmanship in the Archaeology Gallery at Ely Museum.

Revitalising Ely Museum and the Old Gaol

The Old Gaol – a building that has been the setting for over 700 years of Ely’s history – has been the perfect home for Ely Museum for the last 20 years. However, the building is no longer fit for purpose and now needs urgent work to keep it open to the public.

Ely Museum has successfully secured HLF funding to carry out a major redevelopment of the museum. This will include redesigning the galleries to create more space to tell the story of the history of the Fenlands, improving the way important historical objects (like the Gold Torc) are displayed, building a new extension to increase the exhibition space available, creating a new education space so that every school child in Ely can visit the museum, modernising the collection store to safeguard Ely’s history and improving accessibility for visitors.

However, to deliver this ambitious project, Ely Museum needed to raise £450,000 in match-funding.

Apollo Fundraising worked with Ely Museum to develop a compelling Case for Support for the project and to identify their best prospects for this fundraising campaign. We have also helped to review funding applications before they are submitted, and continued to provide advice and support throughout the campaign.

As of October 2018, Ely Museum are within touching distance of their target, with just £60,000 left to raise.