Museums and Groups in Yorkshire


There are plenty of ways to get involved with the history and archaeology of Yorkshire. Why not visit a museum or join an archaeological society?

Many Portable Antiquities Scheme finds can be seen on display at museums around the county (see the links that accompany the descriptions below).




Yorkshire Museum

The Yorkshire Museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and was one of the first purpose-built museums in the country.  The Museum houses five galleries showcasing some of Britain’s finest archaeological treasures and many rare animals, birds and fossils, in exciting displays.

Highlights include:


North Yorkshire


Craven Museum & Gallery

Craven Museum & Gallery is located in Skipton Town Hall and tells the story of Craven through the ages. It is home to over 60,000 objects ranging from natural history to public archives including nationally important items, such as William Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Highlights include:


Whitby Museum

Whitby Museum hosts collections of local fossils, natural history, model ships, carved jet, toys, costumes and social history. Many artefacts relating to the famous whaling family, the Scoresbys and also the explorer Captain Cook, are on display.

Highlights include:


The Rotunda Musuem, Scarborough Museums Trust 

The Rotunda Museum displays a variety of objects, from fossils found on East Yorkshire’s Dinosaur Coast to Gristhorpe Man, the skeleton and coffin of a Bronze Age man, which is the best example of a tree burial in Britain.


East Yorkshire


Hull & East Riding Museum

Hull & East Riding Museum is located in the attractive Museums Quarter and covers 235 million years of history.

Highlights include:

The Treasure House

The Treasure House opened in 2007 and is the home of heritage and information services, providing access to museum, library and archive services. The museum displays an array of collections highlighting the geology, natural history, landscape and people of the East riding.

Highlights include:


South Yorkshire


Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre

Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre is dedicated to the history and people of the borough. It is an inspiring place for all the family to visit. Archaeology from all periods is on display, including Roman coins from Wombwell.



Doncaster Museum

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery was opened in 1964 to display important collections of natural history, archaeology, local history, fine and decorative art. There is also a large and varied temporary exhibition programme throughout the year, as well as special activities for all ages.

Highlights include:


Clifton Park and Museum, Rotherham

The Museum highlights the history of the borough in a way that appeals to all ages and helps to bring both our lives, and those of our ancestors into sharp focus. It holds objects from our ancient geological roots, through Stone Age man to the modern day, displayed within the splendour of the 18th century Clifton House. The archaeology collection consists of around 36,000 objects, ranging from the Palaeolithic period to the Post-Medieval period.

Highlights include:


Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

The museum houses varied collections from natural history specimens to art and antiques as well as archaeology. Sheffield is the home of metalworking, so naturally the metalwork collection is particularly fine.

Highlights include:


West Yorkshire

Bankfield Museum, Halifax

A Museum since 1887, Bankfield tells the story of Halifax and Calderdale, using its rich and diverse collections.

Castleford Museum

The museum invites visitors to follow the history of Castleford from the Bronze Age to the present day. Discover why the Castleford area was a great and important meeting place for Bronze Age people and view a unique and special Iron Age chariot, as well as seeing artefacts from Roman Castleford.

Highlights include:

  • The Ferry Fryston Chariot

Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley

Originally the home of Victorian millionaire and textile manufacturer, Henry Isaac Butterfield, Cliffe Castle boasts sparkling Victorian rooms,furniture, paintings, and decorative art. Special galleries deal with natural history, archaeology and social history, and the internationally important display of stained glass by Morris and Co.

Highlights include:

Heptonstall Museum

You will find this welcoming museum in the Old Grammar School building. Many features of the building remain, including the original school desks and books. The displays focus on the importance of this charming village and surrounding area, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum, Leeds

Visit Kirkstall Abbey, a fabulous example of Medieval Cistercian abbey ruins set on the banks of the River Aire in Leeds and see artefacts discovered during the archaeological excavations of the site, and then cross the road to wander the beautifully created authentic Victorian streets for a glimpse of life in 19th century Leeds at the enchanting Abbey House museum.

Leeds City Museum

​With some of the best collections outside of London and a number of unique collections of national and international importance, Leeds Museums and Galleries are very proud of their collections.

Highlights include:

Pontefract Museum

Discover the history of Pontefract with fascinating objects housed in a beautiful art nouveau building. The museum boasts the world’s first secret ballot box and a unique display of objects related to Liquorice. Explore the history of glass-making in the area from Roman times to the present day, with many items from the museum’s large collection of Bagley’s Glass on display.

Highlights include:

The Tolson Museum, Huddersfield

A vivid and intriguing picture of the area and its people, from pre-history to present day, revealed through unique collections. From Roman finds to textiles, birds to transport, Tolson is a treasure house of the fascinating, the curious and the amazing.

Wakefield Museum

See local cultural treasures and learn surprising facts about the city. Explore the history of Wakefield and hear stories of wealth and power, hardship and hope, love and war, and passion and belief through the eyes of the people involved in shaping the city. You will also be inspired by the amazing and beautiful objects that help to tell this fascinating story.

 Highlights include:
  • The Stanley Ferry Log Boat




All Yorkshire
Yorkshire Archaeological Society
YAS Medieval Section
YAS Prehistory Research Section 
YAS Roman Antiquities Section 
Yorkshire Philosophical Society

Bishopthorpe Local History Group
Derwent Archaeology Group
Dringhouses Local History Group
Dunnington Through the Ages
Fulford Battlefield Society 
Friends of Hagg Wood
Friends of Hob Moor
Poppleton Archaeology Group
Stockton on the Forest and Hopgrove Local History Group
Strensall Local History Group
Wiggington Local History Group
Yorkshire Architectural & York Archaeological Society


East Riding
East Riding Archaeological Society
High Wolds Heritage Group
Pocklington and District Local History Group


North Yorkshire
Bedale Archaeology & History Society
Helmsley Archaeological and Historical Society
Northallerton and District Local History Society
North Craven Historical Research Group 
North Duffield History and Conservation Society
The Harrogate Archaeological Society


South Yorkshire
Brodsworth Community Archaeology Group
Doncaster Archaeological & Historical Society
East Peak Innovation Partnership – Industrial Heritage Support Programme
Hunter Archaeological Society
South Yorkshire Trades Historical Trust Limited 

West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire Heritage Forum
Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society
Bingley & District Local History Society 
Boston Spa & District Community Archaeology Group 
Huddersfield & District Archaeological Society
Leeds Archaeological Fieldwork Society
Pontefract & District Archaeological Society 
Pontefract Heritage Group 
South Leeds Archaeology Group
Wakefield Archaeological Society


For a full list of Yorkshire societies, groups and projects see: CBA.