Exciting wildlife and folk tradition exhibitions at North Lincolnshire Museum

Scunthorpes North Lincolnshire Museum celebrating local wildlife in a new exhibition
Scunthorpes North Lincolnshire Museum celebrating local wildlife in a new exhibition

North Lincolnshire’s wildlife and a curious folk tradition dating back to the 16th century are revealed in two new exhibitions at Scunthorpe’s North Lincolnshire Museum.

Two new exhibitions have opened at Scunthorpe’s North Lincolnshire Museum celebrating our local wildlife, and one of Lincolnshire’s most curious folk traditions.

Performers of the Plough Jags - traditional rural plays - in 1898, exhibited at Scunthorpe Museum

Performers of the Plough Jags - traditional rural plays - in 1898, exhibited at Scunthorpe Museum

Thought to date back to the 16th Century, Plough Jags are traditional rural plays that were seen all over Lincolnshire and other counties. The plays were performed yearly in early January, before the ploughing season started. In part this was to contribute to the Church's plough light, but it is also thought that the money and goods collected were used to have a feast before the hard work of the season.

The plays are delivered in songs, verse, and prose, with plentiful use of ad-libs, and sometimes dancing. Traditionally, men and boys play both the male and female characters, with colourful costumes.

Although Plough Jags – or Plough Plays as they are sometimes known – became much less common in the 19th and 20th centuries, these plays are still performed to this day in North Lincolnshire by a dedicated group of volunteers.

The museum’s Plough Jags exhibition tells the story of this local tradition and showcases the costumes worn by today’s Plough Jag performers.

In conjunction with the Coleby Plough Jag group, the exhibition will also involve a workshop on how to be a Plough Jag, to help keep the traditional alive. Join the Plough Jags on Sunday 7 April at North Lincolnshire Museum for their free workshop from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Book your place online now at www.northlincs.gov.uk/ploughjags.

Also now on display on that museum is the Animals at Home exhibition. The exhibition takes a dive into the museum’s animal collection to explore three of North Lincolnshire’s important habitats: Humber wetlands, ancient woodland and coversands heathland.

The Plough Jags and Animals at Home exhibitions will be on display at the North Lincolnshire Museum until September 29.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​