About Thirsk Museum

Thirsk Museum was established in 1975 with the aim of preserving and displaying items that told something about the past generations who lived in the area. Two years later it opened its doors to the public and has been welcoming visitors from around the world ever since.

The building chosen for the Museum is itself of historical interest. Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Ground, was born here in 1755. It also stands close to the surgery where the author and vet James Herriot worked for many years.

Thomas Lord

Thomas Lord

As a young man, Thomas Lord moved to London and prospered as a wine merchant. He also proved to be a useful cricketer with the White Conduit Club. Lacking a ground of its own, the club commissioned Lord to find a suitable site. He leased land near Dorset Square where the club, renamed the Marylebone Cricket Club, played its first match in 1787. The club moved twice, eventually settling at its present location in St John’s Wood in 1814.


Besides conserving, documenting and displaying items of historical interest, we provide a range of services:

  • We offer advice on the identification and dating of objects.
  • We have access to regional record offices and reference libraries for historical research.
  • We are home to the Thirsk & District Museum Society, which organises a popular series of talks in the spring and autumn months.


Thirsk Museum strives to build close ties with local schools. We offer guided tours for groups of up to thirty at a time. Our collection provides material for work at various levels on local and social history. Worksheets or information packs can be provided if required. Many of the exhibits are on open display and can be safely handled.

Visits can be made during normal opening hours, and on Thursdays or in the evenings by prior arrangement. Schools can combine a trip to the Museum with a tour of the World of James Herriot and a study of St Mary’s Parish Church. Parking for coaches and a picnic site are both within easy walking distance.


Thirsk Museum is a Registered Charity staffed entirely by volunteers. We welcome donations to help pay for the care of exhibits, building maintenance and other necessary expenses. If you would like to support the Museum financially, please consider filling out a Gift Aid form, which allows us to to reclaim tax and maximise the value of your donation. You can download a form by following the link below.

Gift Aid form

Our Emblem – The Drover

Along the hills overlooking Thirsk runs an ancient drove road which was once used for bringing cattle from Scotland to the markets of York and beyond. In Ingramgate, the road which leads to Thirsk from the east, stands a unique milestone bearing the figure of a drover pausing for refreshment. With a pot of ale in one hand and a stout stick in the other, he has been adopted as the official emblem of Thirsk Museum.