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Gallery hire

The Oriental Museum provides a unique venue for events and receptions, with the opportunity to view temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent galleries of historic art and artefacts. The museum has been used for receptions, drinks parties, concerts, wedding receptions and business meetings.

As well as the museum galleries we also have two classrooms within Elvet Hill House, adjacent to the museum that can be booked separately to, or in conjunction with the gallery spaces.

If you are considering the museum for your event, please note the following:

  • The Museum is open to the public 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 12pm-5pm at weekends and on bank holidays. Evening events should not start before 6pm to allow time for set up after closing. For security reasons, events should end by 10pm at the latest.
  • The Wolfson Gallery of Ancient Egypt can be closed off from general visitors and so can be booked during opening hours. However, no food or drink can be taken into the gallery so another space would be needed for breaks.
  • Tours of the Oriental Museum galleries can be arranged subject to availability of curatorial staff. For the best visitor experience maximum 20 visitors per staff member leading a group is recommended. For larger groups it is possible to have to up to 3 curatorial staff leading tours simultaneously if booked sufficiently far in advance. An additional charge may be made for tours.
  • Craft activities based around the museum’s collections can be arranged for children from age 2-18. These are facilitated by a CRB checked member of the Museum Learning. These activities would incur an additional charge on top of the hire fee.
  • Corporate team building activities facilitated by a member of the Museum Learning Team can be arranged to suit individual requirements.
  • Food and drink are permitted in the classroom and the foyer area of Elvet Hill House as well as in the reception and café area at the front of the museum. Buffets can be set up in the Elvet Hill House foyer and this can be used as a lunch/break out space for groups who have booked the classroom during the day. For evening events food and drink are permitted in the reception area of the museum. We recommend groups no larger than 40-50 for events of this type. For groups larger than 40, or if food and drink is required in the museum galleries as well as the reception area, details of the event need to be discussed in advance with museum staff.
  • The museum is not suitable for events involving sit down dinners.
  • No candles or other naked flames are permitted in the galleries. No flowers are permitted beyond the museum reception area.
  • Maximum number of guests for an event in the museum galleries is 120
  • Catering can be arranged via Event Durham

Equipment available

A projector and laptop are available in the classroom which also has a built-in projector screen.

An interactive whiteboard and built in projector are available in the Wolfson Egyptian gallery.

There is Wifi in all areas.

To speak to a member of staff about your event, telephone 0191 334 5694 or email

Don't miss

Scaling the Heights

21 September - 21 December 2018

The Egyptian Gallery

Permanent Gallery

Family activities

Every Saturday