Simpson & Brown Architects with Addyman Archaeology

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Thackray Medical Museum

Thackray Medical Museum

Thackray Medical Museum

Thackray Medical Museum

The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds is a museum of the history of medicine adjacent to St James's University Hospital. It is Listed at Grade II. Simpson & Brown were appointed by the museum to undertake a masterplan for the building and the wider site and develop proposals for a successful HLF stage 2 application. The works involve the complete refurbishment of the museum areas together with the addition of a new light filled circulation atrium unlocking the north wing of the building. 

The building first opened in 1861 as the purpose-built Leeds Union Workhouse. In 1925 the Leeds Union Workhouse infirmary was renamed St James’s Hospital. By 1945, the rest of the workhouse had merged with the hospital and it became part of the NHS in 1948. By the 1990s, the building was considered unfit for modern medicine. As a listed building, it could not be demolished and Parliament gave permission for it to house the Thackray Medical Museum.

The Thackray Medical Museum has its origins in a small family-run chemist shop, opened in 1902 by Charles Thackray. The Thackray family used some of the firm’s medical supplies, books, trade catalogues and equipment to set up a small museum. The business was finally sold to a multi-national company in 1990, and the family established a charitable trust to develop the collection and enable the wider public to learn more about the story of medicine. With the help of generous contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, private donors and the Thackray Medical Research Trust. The Thackray Medical Museum was opened in 1998.

Project name: Thackray Medical Museum
Client name: Thackray Medical Museum
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