Abbey House Museum

Abbey House Museum
Abbey Walk
Abbey Rd
West Yorkshire




0113 230 5492

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Image showing families sitting outside a Victorian gatehouse on a sunny day
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Based in the heart of the Kirkstall community, Abbey House was once the gatehouse for Kirkstall Abbey. Displays in the museum enable you to steep yourself in the romantic history of the abbey. The museum also explores life in Victorian Leeds. With enchanting streets which reconstruct life in the late 19th century, and social history collections, you can immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the time. Abbey House also has a new interactive childhood gallery, Abbot Tea Rooms, and a wide range of activities for schools, small groups and families.

Venue Type:

Museum, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Tuesday - Friday and Sunday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 12 noon - 5pm

Last admission 4pm

Closed: Mondays (except Bank Holidays)

Admission charges

£3.90 adults, £2.90 LeedsCard & concessions, £1.75 accompanied children. Family ticket £6.70 for 2 adults and up to 3 children.

Additional info

The Abbey House Museum hosts The Wednesday Club for adults. This is a social group which often presents talks and tours. The group meet monthly on a Wednesday at the museum at 10:30am. £5 per person which includes a set lunch in the Abbot Tea Rooms.

For children the Monkey Club regularly meets on Wednesdays from 10:15am-12noon. This offers a drop in morning to take part in craft activities and play games. The Messy Monkeys regularly meet on Fridays for fun with paints and art materials. Both are available for the under 5s and their carers.

Please see our event details for regular activities for families, children and adults. You can also find details of our half term activites, exhibitions and education workshops for schools.

The museum is also available for children's birthday parties, and wedding photography. Please call for prices and availability.

Open to the public is our Gatehouse Cafe (no museum admission necessary) serving drinks, hot and cold meals and snacks.

The museum holds large and important social history collections. This includes an archive relating to the Suffragette campaigns of Mrs Leonora Cohen (b.1873) who was one of the first women in Leeds to start campaigning for votes for women.

Leeds Museums have been collecting toys, dolls and games since at least the 1920s and now hold one of the major collections in the country. Abbey House Museum displays many acquistions from this collection along with Armley Mills Industrial Museum.

Abbey House Museum also houses a collection of period costume.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Social History, Toys and Hobbies

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

How do I Look?

  • 24 January — 31 December 2015 *on now

Join us to peep in the mirror and see how people throughout history have enhanced their looks and presented themselves to others.  Enter a world of wigs and war paint, marvellous moustaches and mascara, nail polish and nose rings, earrings and eyeliner, beards and brill-crème, combs and curlers, tattoos and tooth powder. 

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Arty Smarties

  • 1 January — 31 December 2015 *on now

Description to follow.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Bunny Fun with Easter Bunny

  • 3 — 6 April 2015

Hop along for a range of fun bunny crafts. We will also be looking for Easter chicks in our Victorian shops and you might just bump into our friendly Easter Bunny.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Funny Faces Family Crafts

  • 7 April 2015 10am-4pm

Pull your funniest face and come along to a fun day of silly crafts, activities and face painting.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Silly Science Eggsperiments

  • 8 April 2015 10am-4pm

A day of science activities inspired by eggs. Can you crush an egg in your hand? How do you know if an egg is boiled? Is your egg fresh?

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Abbey House Easter Family Fun Challenge

  • 9 April 2015 10am-4pm

Abbey House's family challenge with an Easter twist. Designed for the whole family to work together they will have to solve a variety of clues, activities, mystery objects and time challenges.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Frightening Faces

  • 10 April 2015 10am-4pm

Pull your scariest face and come along to a frighterningly fun day of crafts, activities and face painting.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Wild things animal crafts

  • 14 April 2015 10am-4pm

Join us for fun family crafts inspired by wild animals including lions, tigers and bears

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Silly Science- camouflage and canines, the science of animals

  • 15 April 2015 10am-4pm

A day of science activities inspired by animals. Can you find our flies or camouflage a cameleon? No scientific knowledge necessary just curiosity.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Abbey House Family Fun Challenge

  • 16 April 2015 10am-4pm

Abbey House's family challenge. Designed for the whole family to work together they will have to solve a variety of clues, activities, mystery objects and time challenges.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Cute and cuddly or slimy and slithery animal crafts

  • 17 April 2015 10am-4pm

Do you like fluffy bunnies or spooky spiders? Take your pick with our range of cute or creepy crafts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Women and Music Study Day

  • 23 April 2015 11am-3pm

Did you know the floral dance was written by a woman? Women in the past did write well known music but are often overlooked or forgotten. Join our Curator of Leeds History Kitty Ross to explore female composers and performers from our sheet music collection.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Primary School Workshops

Classes will be split into 2 groups for each workshop, each group spending 45 minutes in the workshop and 45 minutes exploring the museum's galleries with their responsible adult. The following workshops are led by a member of the museum's freelance education staff and provide the opportunity to handle and explore objects from the museum's collections: Toys and Games £45 per class, Houses and Homes £45 per class, Shops and Shopping £45 per class, Going to the Seaside with craft activity £50 per class, Victorian Christmas with craft activity £50, Meet the Victorians FREE.

The Monkey Club

A drop-in morning for children aged 0-5 years and their carers. Enjoy craft activities, games and make friends together at Abbey House Museum. 10.15-12.00, normal admission applies (children are free) with no extra charge.
Dates for 2009 are as follows: 24th February, 25th March, 22nd April, 20th May, 17th June, 15th July, 12th August, 16th September, 14th October, 11th November, 9th December. No booking necessary. Call for more details.

How to obtain

The Monkey Club activities are free - just drop in.