The museum opened in July 1927. The ground floor of the museum is set out as an area of Victorian streets, illustrating a range of shops and services and including original shop fittings etc. Upstairs galleries feature the history of Kirkstall Abbey, Childhood, and Leeds Social History, as well as temporary exhibitions.
The Paranormal TV show Most Haunted visited the Abbey House Museum on the first episode of Series 19. The crew experienced apparent paranormal incidents which include knocking and the piano playing by itself.