Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library

View of the Harris Museum & Art Gallery classical frontage from the Market Square
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Located in the heart of Preston in a beautiful Grade I listed building, the Harris Museum, Art Gallery, Library & Makerspace hosts a huge range of free exhibitions as well as events and activities for all ages.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Library

Opening hours

Mon 10am-7pm
(Museum/Art Gallery 11am-5pm)
Tue 10am-5pm
Wed 10am-8pm
(Library 10am-7pm)
Thur 10am-5pm
Fri 10am-5pm
Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 11am-4pm

Admission charges

Free admission to all exhibitions. Small charge for special events and activities.

Getting there

How to get here by car:
Follow M6 to Junction 31 (signposted Preston)
Follow signs for A59 Preston
Continue up a steep hill (Brockholes Brow)
At small roundabout carry straight on towards city centre (New Hall Lane)
Continue until you reach a T-junction at traffic lights (opposite Sainsbury's Homebase) and turn right.
Carry straight on through a Pelican crossing and another major set of traffic lights.
Get in the left hand lane and turn left for Bus Station car park down Percy Street. The entrance to the car park is up a ramp about 3/4 of the way down this road. You are close to the ramp entrance when you see the ramp going over the road in front you.
If you miss the left turn onto Percy Street there is another one for the same car park at the next set of traffic lights (by the Holiday Inn).
Turn left at the lights and second left up the ramp into car park.
Car park is pay and display.

From car park on foot:
Follow signs to Guild Hall/City Centre.
You will go down an escalator (or use lift)
At the bottom of the escalator turn 180 degrees and proceed through the Guild Hall shopping arcade (past a ticket booking kiosk under the escalator).
When you reach the Guild Hall exit, you will see the back of the Harris Museum directly in front of you. There are entrances on the right and left hand sides of the building on Harris Street and Jacson Street. When inside, you will find the Museum Office on the first floor. A lift is available.

How to get here from the railway station:
There are regular trains to Preston from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, East Lancashire and Lancaster etc.
The Harris is a ten minute walk from the station.
Leave the station at the main exit (next to ticket office) and walk up the concourse.
Turn right onto Fishergate.
Carry on straight ahead, crossing Butler Street on your right at the traffic lights.
Continue straight along Fishergate past the shops (Woolworth’s, HMV, M&S etc.) until you reach Boots on the right hand side.
Turn left on to the Market Square and the Harris is straight opposite you.

Additional info

Get involved:
For young people - why not join Young Harris, our monthly meeting for young people interested in the arts or take part in the Arts Award?
Friends of the Harris - for only £15 membership per year, Friends enjoy exclusive events, trips and discounts in the shop/cafe and at special Harris events. See our website for more details.

There are three main collection areas - fine art, decorative art and history.

The Fine Art collection includes 18th, 19th and 20th Century oil paintings, watercolours, prints and sculpture, with strong focus on contemporary work including photography and digital art. The Harris has a large collection of portrait and landscape paintings by the Preston-based Devis family of artists. Permanent fine art gallery (redisplayed approximately every 3 years) and features in the changing exhibitions programme.

The Decorative Art collection includes ceramics, glass, costume and textiles. The UK's largest collection of glass perfume bottles collected by Mrs French - the majority is on permanent display in cases and accessible drawers. Permanent Ceramics and Glass gallery completed 2008 and changing exhibitions of costume and textiles.

History collections including speciailist collections on the local and social history of Preston including objects and ephemera including items relating to the unique Preston Guild held every 20 years. A large local photography collection including portraits, family albums and views of Preston and events. Wider historical material includes archaeology collections both local and ancient civilizations, numismatics, greetings cards, dolls, toys and cigarette cards. Permanent Discover Preston gallery opened 2012 and Discover Room featuring Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Toys, Money and changing displays on Preston's history and community history.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Industry, Photography, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Discover Preston permanent history gallery
  • Costume gallery with changing exhibitions
  • Ceramics and Glass Gallery
  • Displays of scent bottles and card cases from the French collection
  • Discover Preston changing display case
  • Mayor temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, digital art and fine art
  • Fine art gallery
  • The Egyptian balcony - Murals of scenes of Ancient Egyptian sites by John Somerscales
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

History at the Harris CD-ROM

http://www.harrismuseum.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=108

This CD-Rom includes schemes of work, printable worksheets, guidance for bringing a group to the museum, and lots of images to help you teach Toys (QCA Unit 1), Homes (QCA Unit 2), and What was it like to live here (Preston) in the past? (QCA Unit 18).

How to obtain

The CD is available to buy from the museum’s Education Department, priced £10.00. Please telephone 01772 905405.

Getting there

How to get here by car:
Follow M6 to Junction 31 (signposted Preston)
Follow signs for A59 Preston
Continue up a steep hill (Brockholes Brow)
At small roundabout carry straight on towards city centre (New Hall Lane)
Continue until you reach a T-junction at traffic lights (opposite Sainsbury's Homebase) and turn right.
Carry straight on through a Pelican crossing and another major set of traffic lights.
Get in the left hand lane and turn left for Bus Station car park down Percy Street. The entrance to the car park is up a ramp about 3/4 of the way down this road. You are close to the ramp entrance when you see the ramp going over the road in front you.
If you miss the left turn onto Percy Street there is another one for the same car park at the next set of traffic lights (by the Holiday Inn).
Turn left at the lights and second left up the ramp into car park.
Car park is pay and display.

From car park on foot:
Follow signs to Guild Hall/City Centre.
You will go down an escalator (or use lift)
At the bottom of the escalator turn 180 degrees and proceed through the Guild Hall shopping arcade (past a ticket booking kiosk under the escalator).
When you reach the Guild Hall exit, you will see the back of the Harris Museum directly in front of you. There are entrances on the right and left hand sides of the building on Harris Street and Jacson Street. When inside, you will find the Museum Office on the first floor. A lift is available.

How to get here from the railway station:
There are regular trains to Preston from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, East Lancashire and Lancaster etc.
The Harris is a ten minute walk from the station.
Leave the station at the main exit (next to ticket office) and walk up the concourse.
Turn right onto Fishergate.
Carry on straight ahead, crossing Butler Street on your right at the traffic lights.
Continue straight along Fishergate past the shops (Woolworth’s, HMV, M&S etc.) until you reach Boots on the right hand side.
Turn left on to the Market Square and the Harris is straight opposite you.

Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library
Market Square
Preston
Lancashire
PR1 2PP
England

Website

Harris Museum, Art Gallery, Library & Makerspace information

www.harrismuseum.org.uk

Cotton History website

www.cleo.net.uk/followtheyarn

E-mail

Enquiries

harris.museum@preston.gov.uk

Telephone

Museum Office

01772 258248

Event bookings (when museum is open)

01772 905414

Fax

Office fax

01772 886764

All information is supplied by the venues or providers themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Related teaching activities

Key Stage 2 History, 1-2 lessons

Chronological understanding

Using the ‘Follow the Yarn’ website as a starting point, draw a timeline to show the history of Preston as it was shaped by the buildings constructed for the cotton industry.

Key Stage 3 Design and Technology, Small project

1.3 Creativity

Imagine you have been asked to design a modern extension to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. What would it look like and what could be housed in the building?

Key Stage 3 English, 1 lesson

En3 Writing

Imagine you are a journalist writing in Victorian England. Write an article about the buildings of Preston in Industrial times.

Key Stage 3 Geography, 1 lesson

1.1 Place

Harris Museum and Art Gallery is located in a Grade One listed building. Make a list of the Grade One or Two listed buildings in your area and discuss the benefits of protecting historic buildings.

Key Stage 3 Geography, 1 lesson

1.1 Place

Many of the artefacts at Harris Museum relate to local life. What artefacts could your school donate to a Museum, so that young people can learn about the building in the context of the local environment?