What’s on …

… hopefully, not a pair of these

Handcuffs, Romans & Myths

Virgil, the ancient roman poet of the Augustan period, tells us of the myth of Proteus, an ancient Greek shape-shifting god. According to the myth, Proteus possessed the gift of prophecy, and men desired to learn from him. But any time a human would approach and request that Proteus share his knowledge, he would shift his shape and escape.

Finally Aristaeus, son of Apollo, particularly motivated by the desire to learn why his bees were dying of disease, learned (and utilized) the secret to preventing Proteus from shape shifting and escaping: handcuffs.

The first metal handcuffs as we may recognize them today probably came into existence during the Bronze and Iron ages, and were “one size fits all” for centuries.

You can hear what’s going on too!

“Wonderful, must-see small museum which really brings alive the history of law and order in Tetbury and Gloucestershire over the last 200 years – definitely felt part of the experience, learnt something new and great for kids too.”


Exhibitions, activities and events

Discover prisoner Fred sleeping in one of our cells.

Explore our other cells which contain the largest collection of handcuffs in the UK.

On display are many fascinating artefacts related to policing in Gloucestershire, along with cold case files of crimes that have taken place in Tetbury.


Young detectives.
Help us solve crimes and mysteries.

Can you match the face to the crime?

Draw to explore.
Bringing our collection out from behind the glass.

Cold cases.
Explore the evidence, discover more, solve the crime.

The Courtroom
On the first floor of the Museum we have re-created a Magistrates Court in session using full-size figures to help bring the scene alive.

Listen to a typical court hearing of the late 1940s which really brings the whole proceedings to life.

Pick up an old-fashioned telephone to hear callers to the police station report crimes.

This space is also available on request for private events.

Need more information?

If you would like further information about our events, exhibitions and ‘what’s on’ for families please click the button for more details.