Wakefield Museum


Important Information

Following recent guidance from the Government on reopening, all Council museums plan to reopen in May.

Pontefract Castle grounds and toilets are open as normal and the Liquorice Café is serving takeaway food and drink. Please see www.pontefractcastle.co.uk for details of opening hours

Sandal Castle grounds remain open as normal and the Castle Café is open Friday to Monday 9:30am to 2:30pm.

digital audience survey

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Opening hours:Location
Monday​​10am to 4pm Burton Street

01924 302104
​Tuesday​10am to 4pm
Wednesday10am to 4pm
Thursday10am to 4pm
​​Friday​10am to 4pm
Saturday10am to 4pm






The museum is Covid-19 Secure and is re-opening on 27 July.

This means that it uses social distancing and other guidelines to protect the health of everyone. 

Staff will greet each visitor to explain viewing arrangements.

Key things to note:

  • The Local Studies room and The Front Room are temporarily closed.
  • There is a one-way system in effect.
  • The maximum number of visitors is either three family groups or 15 people at any one time.
  • Informational signs are installed to assist visitors navigate the museum.
  • Hand-sanitiser is provided for use when entering the building before arriving at the museum.
  • All events and activities have been temporarily suspended. This includes workshops, talks, and drop-in craft sessions.
  • All interactive resources have been temporarily removed from public spaces.
  • Some of the activity tables have been temporarily removed to allow additional space for staff and visitors.

​​Children in museum activities

Free entry

​Wakefield Museum is a stimulating and vibrant part of the new and prestigious Wakefield One building in the heart of Wakefield. The museum is located on the lower ground floor along with Local Studies where you are invited to explore and engage with the history of the people of Wakefield.

Highlights to explore

Children in museum dress upDiscover the extraordinary, the oldest, the first, and the one and only in the Welcome to Wakefield display. See our local cultural treasures and learn surprising facts about the city. Explore the history of Wakefield in the Main Gallery 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.

Temporarily Closed: History comes to life in The Front Room with a Victorian Kitchen and a 1940s living room. Here children can become characters from the past by trying on our dressing-up collection inspired by the costumes on display in the museum, whilst adults can take a trip down memory lane with our 1950s display.

Visit The Extraordinary World of Children in museum fossilCharles Waterton, the Wakefield-born pioneering Victorian eco-warrior and explorer, and view his collection of preserved animals including Charles Waterton's creations made up from bits of animals. You can also stand on the back of the fierce caiman crocodile that he famously captured on one of his trips to South America. The Waterton Collection is on loan from Stonyhurst College.

The Special Exhibition Gallery showcases a varied programme of displays inspired by the museum's collections along with loans from other people and places, and is a space to share our work with local groups.

Gateway to Eternity: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Our current special exhibition is Gateway to Eternity: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. Explore what Ancient Egyptians believed about death and follow their journey into the afterlife

Venture into our recreated tomb, marvel at exquisite ancient objects and reflect on the mummy and coffin of Perenbast, a temple singer who lived over 2500 years ago. 


Further information and details about events and activities linked to the exhibition.

More information

Children in museum wallSee Wakefield Museum for information about exhibitions and events that are on now or coming up. Our 'What's on' leaflet contains details of events in all the District's museums, and our Wakefield Museums & Libraries Blog has all the latest news.

See our special Museum collections and find details of our Learning and activities at museums and castles.

Contact us

Museums and Libraries

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

Support museums - make a donation

01924 302 104