'Remark all these roughness, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me', is what Cromwell is alleged to have said to Sir Peter Lely. He may never have said these words, and Lely probably never painted him from life, but the expression ‘warts and all’ captures the spirit of the man. The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, located in Cromwell’s old grammar school, aims to do likewise. Despite Cromwell’s popularity in the second half of the 18th century, there was no public museum that focussed solely on Cromwell until the Museum in Huntingdon opened in 1962. Portraiture of Cromwell is a key element of the Museum and two of the portraits by Robert Walker, a half-length and a more unusual full-length, are probably as close as one can get to an accurate image of the man. The importance of Cromwell as a key figure of British history is, arguably, not adequately reflected by the scale of the Museum that commemorates his life and legacy, but the range of works in the collections is impressive.
Grammar School Walk, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE29 3LF England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit