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By Night: Perspectives of Poaching at Moyse’s Hall Museum

A new exhibition exploring the illicit world of the poacher will be held at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds from 19 February until 1 May 2022.

By Night: Perspectives of Poaching, will present rural objects, art and literature from the darker side of West Suffolk Heritage Service’s collection to illustrate the perils and conflicts of the practice.  

It will also include items on loan from the Museum of East Anglian Life; Bungay Museum and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, which will provide invaluable additions to the narrative.

While the exhibition concentrates on the local history of hunting and poaching from the 18th to the 20th century, it also traces the roots of poaching back to the era of the Norman Conquest and examines how it can still prove a divisive subject, even today. Poachers might appear as a romantic outlaw such as in the tales of Robin Hood, but in other contexts they can be presented as decidedly more villainous.  

In tackling this complex issue, the exhibition brings the origins, equipment, legends, allies, enemies and consequences of poaching into focus. It seeks answers as to why people might risk their freedom and, in some cases, their lives in pursuit of the hunt. Visitors are also invited to form their own opinions as they trespass in the footsteps of the people who walked by night.

Commenting on the exhibition, Ben Ridgeon, Heritage Officer, West Suffolk Council said; “Poaching forms a key element of the crime and punishment gallery at Moyse’s Hall Museum, but in learning about these collections I found that there were still more stories to tell if we could offer this enthralling subject a wider stage. By Night: Perspectives on Poaching is that stage.”

By Night: Perspectives of Poaching will be open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm from 19 February until 1 May 2022. Admission: adult £5 concessions £4.50 child £3 (5-16 years), Heritage Ticket holders can attend the exhibition free of charge. Tickets can be booked online at www.moyseshall.org or for details call 01284 758000. 

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