Leeds 1842

The sights, sounds and smells of a Victorian street in Leeds will transport you back in time to 1842 and we’ll introduce you to a range of characters who lived there at the time.
Queen Victoria had come to the throne in 1837 and with the industrial revolution in full swing thousands of people flocked to the cities to work in the new factories. Filthy and crowded living conditions led to poor sanitation and disease with infectious conditions like TB, cholera and measles spreading rapidly. One in five children died before they were five, and childbirth killed one in 30 women. A 21-year-old labourer could only expect to live to the age of 50.
Visitors can choose one of the characters living in our authentically recreated street to find out what their homes are like, what is causing their ailments, and what can be done to help cure them.

Exhibitions and events

Health Choices

Permanent exhibition

In Victorian times there was a cure for everything – at least, that’s what many of the quacks and chemists of the time claimed!    This exhibition explores the choices on offer...

Disease in Retreat

Permanent exhibition

Disease in Retreat is a great antidote to our crowded and disease-ridden Victorian street! Here you can find out how scientific discoveries gradually led to a greater understanding of disease and a...

Life Zone

Permanent exhibition

Younger visitors love exploring Life Zone!   Fun, educational and interactive, kids have a great time finding their way around the colourful, hands-on exhibits and learning more about how their...

Fantastic Plastic

Permanent exhibition

What scent should a medical face mask have? Which material would you choose to make a replacement hip? Come and learn from the experts!   Today, we take plastic for granted, but it plays a key...

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Activities from this museum

School visits

The Thackray Medical Museum opens its doors to 20,000 school students every...

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