Abbey House Museum
Abbey House Museum
0113 230 5492
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.
Museum, Historic house or home
Tuesday - Friday and Sunday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 12 noon - 5pm
Last admission 4pm
Closed: Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
£3.90 adults, £2.90 LeedsCard & concessions, £1.75 accompanied children. Family ticket £6.70 for 2 adults and up to 3 children.
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.
Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Social History, Toys and Hobbies
A Snapshot of Yorkshire
- 25 January — 28 December 2014 *on now
This exhibition explores Yorkshire life, culture and stereotypes. It is shaped by responses to a survey on Yorkshire conducted in autumn 2013 and will also feature images from the winners of the ‘Snapshot of Yorkshire’ competition.
- Any age
The Biology and Conservation of Birds
- 24 September 2014 11am-3pm
Using bird skins, taxidermy and skeletons from the museum collections, find out how to identify British birds, avian biology, the diversity of birds from around the world and how museum collections can be used to help save birds from extinction.
£10.00 per person (includes tea, coffee and lunch).
- 21 October 2014 11am-3pm
Kirkstall Abbey has been a local landmark in this area since its foundation in 1152. Even now we are still learning new things about the abbey and the monks and guests who stayed there.
Come and explore what we know about Kirkstall Abbey from early reports and excavations and look at some of the finds from around the site.
Learn about the 1980s excavations of the guest house, and discuss the latest research taking place looking at who was visiting the abbey and the hospitality they experienced in the Middle Ages.
£10.00 per person.
Discover your First World War Heritage
- 23 October 2014 11am-3pm
With commemorations of the centenary of the First World War underway, come and explore items from our collections showing the effects of the war both near and far.
Leeds Museums have a wonderful collection of letters, printed documents and medals, illustrating both military service and life at home.
Some items have never been displayed before.
Learn how to begin researching your own family stories of the war and those of your locality, using Kirkstall War Memorial as your starting point.
Feel free to bring your own items and stories to discuss with the group.
- Any age
£10.00 per person.
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.