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28 October 2014

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Abbey House Museum tour
Abbey House museum
Abbey House museum
Take BBC Leeds' guide to the Abbey House Museum's three Victorian streets and shops. Or why not take a virtual tour of the museum?
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Abbey Fold
Harewood Square
Stephen Harding Gate

Leeds City Council
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Abbey House Museum
Kirkstall Road, Leeds
0113 230 5492

The site of the Abbey is just across the modern A65 Kirkstall Road.

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Take the Virtual tour of the Abbey House Museum's Victorian streets and shops

A brief history
The core of Abbey House was originally the inner gatehouse of Kirkstall Abbey, founded in 1152. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries the gatehouse was blocked at either end and became a house.

Since then the house has been a farmhouse and also the home of the Butler family, the owners of Kirkstall Forge. In 1926 Leeds City Council bought Abbey House.

Bygones and folklore
Originally considered as a judges' lodging house it opened as a bygones and folklore museum in July 1927.

During the 1950s three Victorian streets were formed. Abbey Fold in 1954, Harewood Square in 1955 and Stephen Harding Gate in 1958.

In 1996 a bid was developed for the complete renovation of the buildings and the collections and submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Abbey House closed in Spring in 1998 and all 70,000 artifacts were removed into storage.

Following the two-year £1.5 million refurbishment the museum re-opens on Saturday 20 January 2001 with twelve new shops and houses to visit.

Visitors will once again be able to walk down the accurately re-created Victorian streets and visit the shops and houses of old-time Leeds around 1880.

There are also three galleries in the museum including the Childhood Gallery.

Information is also displayed covering Kirkstall Abbey's construction, history and closure.

The site of the Abbey is just across the modern A65 Kirkstall Road.

Take the Virtual tour of the Abbey House Museum's Victorian streets and shops


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