Thackray Museum

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Thackray Museum

Coordinates: 53°48′29″N 1°31′06″W / 53.80806°N 1.51833°W / 53.80806; -1.51833 The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, is a museum of the history of medicine adjacent to St James's Hospital. Since, it opened in 1997 it has won "Museum of the Year" and other awards.

The building is a Grade II listed building, the former Leeds Union Workhouse, built in 1858 to accommodate 784 paupers.[1] By the end of the 19th century, the buildings had become largely used for medical care of the poor, rather than workhouse and training. During the First World War it was called the East Leeds War Hospital, caring for armed services personnel.[1]

Highlights include Leeds 1842: Life in Victorian Leeds: visitors walk through a reproduction of slum streets complete with authentic sights, sounds and smells and are invited to follow the lives, ailments and treatments of eight Victorian characters, making the choices that determine their survival amongst the rats, fleas and bedbugs. Pain, Pus and Blood describes surgery before anaesthesia, and how pain relief progressed and Having a Baby focuses on developments in safety for childbirth. Hannah Dyson's Ordeal is a video reconstruction of 1842 surgery, before anaesthetics were in use: visitors watch as a surgeon, his assistant and a group of trainee doctors prepare for Hannah Dyson's operation - the amputation of her leg after it was crushed in a mill accident. (The actual operation is not seen in the reconstruction.) The Life Zone is an interactive children's gallery, looking at how the human body works, with a smaller room for the under-fives. There is a temporary exhibition gallery.[2] The museum also houses the skeleton of Mary Bateman, the "Yorkshire Witch", who was executed for fraud and murder in 1809.[3]


  1. ^ a b "St James's University Hospital". Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  2. ^ Museum Website
  3. ^ Goor, K. (2006) Haunted Leeds, Tempus, Page 37

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