South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre

Photos and other artefacts in a local history museum display
Guided tours icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Leyland Free Grammar School was established by Henry ffarington in 1524, and the present building was probably erected on this site about 1580. Although extended a century later most of the structure has been changed very little. The building is a three-bay oak framed structure in typical sixteenth century local style, located in the NE corner of the Leyland Parish Church grounds.

In the 1790s a small but typical 'handloom weaver's house' was added to accomodate the school master and his wife. Among the many locals educated here were Richard Jackson (alias Dr Kuerden one of the fathers of the History of Lancashire) and the RC martyr John Woodcock. The school survived here until 1874, when a local industrialist safeguarded it for the use of the local community.

After various church-based uses it was acquired by South Ribble Borough Council in 1978, restored, and opened as the Borough's Museum & Exhibition Centre. The school room is used for art exhibitions and Saturday events of all kinds (Origami to Clocks!) and the unchanged upper rooms house our small but interesting museum collection. The Centre is staffed by our army of over 60 volunteer attendants, and we are at the heart of the local community - as the school has thus been for nearly five hundred years.
See D.Hunt (1990) A History of Leyland & District

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tues Fri 1000-1600
Thurs 1300-1600
Sat 1000-1300
Christmas Period Closed

Closed: Christmas Eve to New Year
Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday

Admission charges

No admission charges: donations

Additional info

We are a small timber-framed largely Tudor building. Our main floors are all on different levels and the upper floor is approached by a steep staircase. Direct wheelchair access is thus restricted to the entrance room. Notwithstanding our best efforts, progress beyond this area is not accessible for wheelchairs.

To offset this difficulty, a film is shown on continuous loop describing the areas of the building which are not accessible. Specific items can usually be made accessible for viewing.

Includes finds from E.E.Pickering's 1946-58 excavations on the Roman supply base at Walton-le-Dale. Small economic and socisl history collections reflect the South Ribble district's economic development (textiles/cloth bleaching etc). Large photograph collection pertaining to the Leyland area. Well balanced, but very small, town museum collection, but this means that most items can readily be viewed given reasonable notice.

Collection details

Archaeology, Industry, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Broadfield Bleach Works sample books
  • Walton-le-Dale Roman finds
  • Kathleen Ferrier memorial Civic Address
  • Leyland photograph collection
  • Local geological collection
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.

Services for Schools

Our aim is to provide historical materials to boost the strictly local themes which may be developed in the National Curriculum History modules. This rolling project produced information sheets covering our area's input into The Romans, The Dark Age, and The Tudors.
We have also produced packs of local history materials for each of our Borough's principle urban areas, based around walks and classroom friendly DVDs of interesting local places.


  • Dr David Hunt

How to obtain

Contact the curator on or call 01772 422041.

South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre
The Old Grammar School
Church Road
PR25 3FJ




01772 422041

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.