Arcade ExhibitionArcade Exhibitions

One of the most stunning features of the History Centre is its covered arcade which acts as the entrance for visitors upon their arrival. To make best use of this space we have got together with local community groups to organise a series of exhibitions that will run throughout the year. So why not take a few moments to have a break and a browse!

Arcade Exhibitions

If you'd like information on any of the exhibitions or are interested in holding an exhibition here please contact us on 01482 317500 or e-mail  

Current and future exhibitions include:


Title Description Dates

Hull Charters


Detail from Queen MaryCharter

From the first Hull Charter in 1299, to the magnificent charter of Queen Mary, join the History Centre for its first major exhibition of 2017.


Hull is an old City. Even before 1299 when King Edward I bought the settlement of Wyke from the monks of Meaux and created Kingston upon Hull, there was a thriving port here where the River Hull met the Humber estuary. From relatively small beginnings Hull grew into a major commercial hub and strategic centre. By the time Charles I stood outside its walls in 1642, Hull was one of the most prominent towns in England.

The Charters show how the people of Hull were granted privileges, rights and responsibilities which are the bedrock of how we live as citizens today.

3 Jan - 24 Feb
Mary Braddon Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a nineteenth-century theatrical and literary sensation who shocked Victorians with scandals in both her writing and personal life.  Following a daring period as an actress on stages across England, which included performances in Beverley and Hull, she moved to Beverley to launch her writing career.  Her penmanship covers war poetry, detective fiction and the mid-Victorian phenomenon that is ‘sensation fiction’ – novels full of bigamy, kidnap and murder.

This exhibition explores Braddon’s tumultuous professional careers alongside aspects of her own scandalous life, such as living unmarried with her publisher.  The exhibition includes a multitude of ‘sensational’ photographs and artefacts from Hull History Centre and East Riding Archives and details how Braddon found life-long creative inspiration from her time spent in Yorkshire.

Theatre, Crime and Sensation is a partnership project with Dr Janine Hatter of the Mary Elizabeth Braddon Association and the University of Hull’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.

 8-18 Feb
Dan Billany: Teacher, Writer, War Hero

A teacher, novelist and soldier in World War II, Dan Billany went missing after being released from a Prisoner of War camp in Italy in 1943. His fate remains unknown to this day. He was born on 14 November 1913 into a working-class family in the Hessle Road area and gained a degree in English from Hull University.

He published his first novel at the age of 27 and was acclaimed by poet T.S. Eliot. After teaching for two years he joined the East Yorkshire Regiment and in 1942 was captured by Rommel’s forces in North Africa.

While a prisoner of war, he wrote The Trap, which was lauded by historian Ken Wolpole, as the ‘finest novel to come out of the war.’ The exhibition will explore Dan as an inspiring teacher, distinguished author and brave soldier – one of Hull’s unsung heroes.

28 Feb - 31 Mar