Tolson Museum

A view of Tolson Museum through the trees in the park.
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The history book of a typical Yorkshire town, Tolson Museum draws a vivid and intriguing picture of Huddersfield and its people, from the prehistoric to the present. Each layer of Huddersfield's past is revealed in its exciting displays.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

April to September
Tuesday to Friday: 11am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12 noon - 5pm
Closed Mondays

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

Access:
We regret that all parts of our museum sites are not yet fully accessible. Fire regulations mean that there are also restrictions on the use of prams and pushchairs indoors. Please contact the museum for further details and any other access information that will help you to plan your visit.

With collections in archaeology, archives, natural sciences, costume and textiles, decorative and applied art, music, weapons and war, coins and medals, personalities, science and technology, social history and land transport, almost every layer of Huddersfield's past is revealed at the Tolson Museum. Tolson takes you through the history of Huddersfield, from the tools of the earliest settlers - made for hunting in the primitive forests - to the boom in the textile industry which changed people's lives and brought prosperity to the town, and modern day collections from local people.

Don't miss Britain's rarest car - the three-wheeled LSD - which was manufactured in Huddersfield between 1919 and 1924. It was originally made by Sykes and Sugden Ltd from 1919 to 1923 and then by the LSD Motor Co Ltd in Mirfield from 1923 to 1924. The name of the car was derived from the initials of the designer (Longbottom), the manufacturer (Sykes) and their accountant (Dyson). There were three models, the Family, the Popular and the Standard plus three-hundredweight and four-hundredweight van versions. The engine was an air cooled eight horsepower v-twin Jap or Mag. It had two forward gears and one reverse gear.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Land Transport, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

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

The Bird Room

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The stunning Tolson Bird Room was opened in 1925 and is a splendid and rare example of historical collecting and display. Most of the birds are from even earlier; the collection was purchased as the nucleus of a museum for Huddersfield.

The evocative display cases were all handmade by Seth L Mosley, the museum's first curator. He displayed each species in its own particular environment, whether moorland or meadow; woodland or water.

There are Pheasants and Finches; Crows and Owls; Geese and Ducks and scores of small birds such as Golden Oriole, Yellowhammer and Pied Flycatcher. See also a splendid Peacock and a Bewick Swan from 1921.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/museumsGalleries/tolson/tolsonGalleries.aspx

The story of Huddersfield

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

"The town that bought itself"

In 1800 Huddersfield was still only an oversized village. Most people worked in the domestic weaving trade or farmed small patches of land. Before the end of the century Huddersfield was a town of growth, prosperity and culture, boasting many fine buildings.

Things to see:

Textiles - pattern books, Great Exhibition 1851, carved cloth printing blocks, wage cups for mill workers

Culture - locally made violins and clarinets; the unusual Ophicleide and 'serpent', Mrs Sunderland's desk

Law and order - 19th Century police truncheons, housebreaker's skeleton keys, knuckle dusters, watchmen's rattles

Civic memorabilia - Huddersfield's first mace, mayoral robes, commemorative items.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/museumsGalleries/tolson/tolsonGalleries.aspx

Ramsden's Town

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The Ramsdens were the founders of the Huddersfield we know today. In 1599 William Ramsden bought the Manor of Huddersfield as a small Pennine village; it developed into a major town and ‘one of the principal seats of the woollen trade in the Kingdom’. The estate was sold to Huddersfield Corporation in 1920 for £1,300,000.

Amazing objects to see include:

The Skelmanthorpe Flag

Richard Oastler memorabilia including Flag carried at an 1832 demo in York

Fighting for the Right to Vote - The Ten Hour Bill Banner

A fine Suffragist banner - 'Votes for Women Huddersfield and district'

A rare road Toll Board c.1923-4

Painting - View of Huddersfield by William Cowen, 1849.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/museumsGalleries/tolson/tolsonGalleries.aspx

Textiles - From Sheep's Back to Man's Back

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The local textile industry created wealth for mill owners such as the Beaumonts who lived in Ravensknowle Hall before it became Tolson Museum.

Displays of machinery and artefacts, from processes including spinning, weaving and cropping, explain how the factory system changed the lives of workers and of the spirited resistance to new machinery by the Luddites.

See:

A hand cropping bench and shears and a display of the frames, so detested by the Luddites, which mechanised the process of cropping.

Other Luddite related artefacts including Enoch's Hammer and a hair tidy made by one of the Luddites whilst awaiting trial at York Assizes.

A Jacquard Loom used in Huddersfield for the 'fancy' trade of making elaborately patterned shawls and waistcoatings.

Exquisite local samples of fine 19th Century hand-loom woven fancy fabrics.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/museumsGalleries/tolson/tolsonGalleries.aspx

Transport - Going Places

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Take a journey through the Going Places transport gallery, a collection of historic carriages, cars and bicycles that have kept Huddersfield moving through history.

The exhibition includes:

Britain's rarest car - the three-wheeled LSD - which was manufactured locally between 1919 and 1924.

Another local car, the Valveless, made by David Brown Ltd - on display after being recovered from South Africa.

An early 19th Century Pack Saddle used for carrying a 'piece' of cloth to market.

A 19th Century horse-drawn Hansom Cab, Wagonette and Station Omnibus all made in Huddersfield.

A fascinating range of cycles from the Velocipede of 1868-72 and the wonderful Singer Sociable tricycle ridden in Lockwood, Huddersfield in the 1880s, on which two people could ride together sitting side by side; through to early 20th Century bicycles.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/museumsGalleries/tolson/tolsonGalleries.aspx

Huddersfield's Great War Stories

Huddersfield's Great War Stories

  • 2 November 2014 — 31 December 2018 *on now

An exhibition which explores people's lives at home and away during the First World War. See 'Loss and Legacy:The Tolson Story' - powerful new short films based on the tragic story of Legh Tolson's two nephews who were killed in the First World War, and in whose memory the museum was given to the people of Huddersfield in 1919.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free

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.
A photo of the outside of Tolson Museum

Pins & Needles

  • 26 April 2017 2-4pm
  • 24 May 2017 2-4pm
  • 28 June 2017 2-4pm
  • 26 July 2017 2-4pm
  • 23 August 2017 2-4pm
  • 27 September 2017 2-4pm

A new monthly drop-in crafts session for lovers fo sewing, knitting, crocheting and other crafts to come along and join like-minded people for a sociable afternoon and the chance to swap tips and ideas, perhaps help others learn a new craft and ,most of all, enjoy a good natter.
All welcome, refreshments available.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
Image of Tolson Museum in Huddersfield

Tolson Great Bake Off

  • 8 April 2017 2-4:30pm

Do you enjoy baking? Why not enter our Great Bake Off? The theme this year is to create a cake to celebrate some form of transport. Tolson Museum has a transport gallery with many types of vehicles including cars, a model boat, parts of a trolley bus, several coaches, bicycles and others. There are three classes to choose from:
1. Adults A cake for a special occasion
2. Under 12s Any shaped cake
3. Under 8s A round cake or cakes.
Entries must be in place by 3.30 with judging at 4pm by Stephen and Tracy Jackson from T&C, Almondbury.
£3 per entry

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 per entry, free to come and take a look!

The front of Tolson Memorial Museum in Huddersfield

Easter Egg Hunt

  • 8 — 23 April 2017

Can you find the Easter Eggs hidden around the museum and solve the puzzle to win a small chocolate prize?

Suitable for

  • Any age
A view of the outside of Tolson Museum

Tea & Cake

  • 12 April 2017 2-3:30pm

This month is a Museum Special; why Tolson is important to us and what we are doing to keep it as the museum for Huddersfield. Also learn how to take a selfie with your favourite object on display.

Suitable for

  • 18+
A young boy holding a Easter bunny made using recycled materials

Easter Craft Day

  • 13 April 2017 11am-1pm, 2-4pm

Join fairandfunky for a session of Easter crafts made using recycled materials.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

£3.50 per child

a view of the front of Tolson

St Georges' Day Cream Tea

  • 23 April 2017 12-3pm

Celebrate St Georges' Day at Tolson Museum with a traditional cream tea at Tolson Museum.
Event organised by the Friends of Tolson Ravensknowle Museum.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 per person, please book in advance by calling the museum on 01484 3223240

A photo of Tolson Museum

Tea & Cake

  • 10 May 2017 2-3:30pm

This month, join our friendly group for a talk by the Citizens Advice Bureau; What the service does and how it helps people.

Suitable for

  • 18+
Tolson Museum seen through the trees in the park

Half Term Activity Day

  • 31 May 2017 12-4pm

May is Local History Month and we will be celebrating with a local history quiz, writing labels for your favourite objects in the museum. Also celebrating our textile history with the chance to design cloth, card & spin wool and make a mini rag rug.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

£1 per child, no booking required.

Tea & Cake

  • 14 June 2017

This month the Friends are visiting Tropical World in Leeds, which must be booked by the end of May.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

Tropical World

Admission

For more details or to book please email Ann at ann.denham3@gmail.com

A view of the outside of Tolson Museum

Tea & Cake

  • 12 July 2017 2-3:30pm

Join us this month for a talk on our local hospice, Kirkwood Hospice, and the work they do today.

Suitable for

  • 18+
A view of the outside of Tolson Museum

Tea & Cake

  • 9 August 2017 2-3:30pm

Join us for a demonstration of croquet on the bowling green and the opportunity to have a go. Games in the museum if wet.

Suitable for

  • 18+
A range of objects from school days in the past: a milk boote, satchel, reading book, prefects badge etc

Tea & Cake

  • 13 September 2017 2-3pm

Talk about starting school and memories of first days. What was it like in your day and what is it like today. Also the opportunity to handle original objects from the School Days memory box.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Tolson Museum
Ravensknowle Park
Wakefield Rd
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
HD5 8DJ
England

Website

www.kirklees.gov.uk/museums

E-mail

tolson.museum@kirklees.gov.uk

Telephone

01484 223240

Fax

01484 223843

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.
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