Royal Pump Rooms Museum, Harrogate

3.3
The Royal Pump Room is a Grade II* listed building in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Today it houses the town's museum – operated by Harrogate Borough Council. It was formerly a spa water pump house. It is located in Crown Place in the western part of Harrogate town centre, opposite the town's Valley Gardens park. It is bounded by two streets, Crescent Road and Royal Parade. Today, the Pump Room consists of both the original 1842 stone rotunda and a glazed annexe which was opened in 1913. The Pump Room offered guests of the town an all weather facility where they could drink sulphur water which was pumped on site from a natural spring known as the Old Sulphur Well. The building also had a social element to it as it provided guests with a place to meet friends and get to know others.The museumThe Pump Room, and its later Annexe, were renovated in the early 1950s and it first opened as the new town museum in 1953. Today The Royal Pump Room Museum is owned and operated by Harrogate Borough Council. The museum underwent extensive renovations between 1985 and 1987. During the work many features of the buildings including the main building and Annexe's copper roof were restored. In addition, the Old Sulphur Well's wellhead and the surviving original water serving counter were restored. The 1980s overhaul also created new exhibition areas and improved the on-site facilities.The majority of the museum tells the story of Harrogate as a spa and a centre for rest and recuperation. The council-owned collection now consists of approximately 20,000 items. The first donations and endowments came from local private collections and some items were first donated to Harrogate Corporation in the 1850s.
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Royal Pump Rooms Museum Reviews
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535 reviews
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3.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were recommended to visit the pump room by the Tourist Information staff, and we are pleased we did, very interesting story about the waters, how it came to be and the visit to the lower level, to ...  more »
  • We timed our visit well to coincide with the guides talk about the Sulphur pumps. It was very well presented and informative. The museum itself is very small. There are a number of interesting exhibit...  more »
  • Lovely little museum which you should definitely visit if walking by. We timed it right and had the short tour down to see the wells which added to the visit. You can probably go round this museum in ...  more »
Google
  • ...fascinating, if you're into that sort of thing. It's a very good insight into English history, culture and quirkiness. It also included an Egyptology exhibition that included artefacts up to c6000 year-old, which I found, as I began, fascinating.
  • Cute little museum in the center of harrogate. It was amazing to see how the town used to be with it's main attraction being the spa/pump rooms. I would have loved to have been able to visit one of the spas back in the day with all of the treatments they offer. I wished there had have been more exhibits to see and maybe more rooms to walk through but it is only a small place. Maybe took us 40mins to see it all. It was very interesting though and worth seeing.
  • Interesting small museum slightly spoiled by rather unwelcoming and uncommunicative staff. Video footage of the working spa was the highlight.
  • This is a great little museum. Explains the history of the area in relation to natural springs. This building has two wells. One with the strongest sulphurous water in Europe and the other which is 2 feet away had hardly any sulphur at all. Interesting Egyptian displays also. If you have skin problems, buy the local soap made with sulphur water. Its effects are quite amazing
  • Not what I was expecting for a major town like Harrogate, it is so small and not very interesting. There are a dozen display cases, a couple of bits of equipment relating to spa treatments, some mannequins displaying dresses and an old penny farthing bicycle arranged along a glorified corridor. We had seen everything in 15 minutes, it would be forgiveable if it was free entry, but for £4.00 a head it was a waste of time and money.

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