Thackray Museum Museums

Thackray Museum
Beckett Street


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The Museum was the inspiration of Paul Thackray, grandson of Charles F Thackray, founder of the medical company bearing his name in Leeds in 1902.

With the aid of a £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum has been established in a former workhouse building adjacent to St James's Hospital. The displays, which opened in March 1997, explain the ways in which people's lives have changed over the last 150 years as a result of improvements in public health, medicine and healthcare. The building also has a large conference and corporate entertainment centre.

The museum collection has over 35,000 objects which, in particular, include a vast range of surgical instruments dating from the late 19th century to the present day. The collection also includes a unique collection of English pharmacy ceramics. The library has over 8,000 books, including the largest collection of medical trade literature in the world.

Since opening, the museum has gained an Interpret Britain Award, a Museum of the Year Award, has been nominated for European Museum of the Year and awarded a Sandford Award for Excellence in Education.

This award-winning interactive museum looks at how improved living conditions and medical advances help us to live around 50 years longer than we did in 1840. Spend a fascinating three hours exploring the slums of Victorian Leeds as one of the town's 'characters' and discover some of the weird treatments available.

In 'Pain, Pus and Blood' experience surgery without anaesthetics and in 'Having a Baby' see how childbirth has become safer. Finally in BodyWorks, enter the giant gut and explore the human body.

Attraction Details

VenueThackray Museum
AddressBeckett Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS9 7LN
Opening times
Entry costs
Attraction typeMuseums


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