See into Leeds' Victorian Christmas past at Abbey House Museum

Visitors to Abbey House museum will be able to get a glimpse of Leeds' Victorian Christmas past from next week.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:00 am
Visitor assistant Gilly Stephenson.

The museum’s beautiful streets and authentic shops have been decked out with traditional decorations as the attraction hosts a series of family-friendly events over the holidays.

Visitors on Wednesday, December 11, will also get the chance to handle a series of artefacts from the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection which have been part of Christmases in the city stretching back over a century.

They include an impressive Victorian Christmas pudding mould that was once used to craft the perfect pud.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Nicola Pullan with a box of crackers dated between 1930-1959.

It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that the ball of flour, fruits, suet, sugar and spices, was first dubbed a Christmas pudding in cook Eliza Acton’s bestselling 1845 book Modern Cookery for Private Families.

Also at the museum will be a Christmas club savers card from Henry Thorne’s, a Leeds-born confectionery company which grew from a humble mustard and chicory shop in the 1830s to

produce over two million pieces of confectionery a day in the 1960s, including the famous Thorne’s Super Crème Toffee.

Visitors will also get the chance to see how Christmas cards have changed over the decades, and to look at traditional decorations including 1930s Christmas lights and a set of Woolworth Christmas baubles.

Visitor assistant Gilly Stephenson.

Nicola Pullan, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ assistant curator of social history, said: “The idea of Christmas in the Victorian era conjures up so many powerful images of traditional streets and colourful decorations and it’s great that we’re able to bring those images to life for visitors over the festive season.

“Giving them a chance to handle objects from the past also helps to build a genuine, tangible connection to the people and places of that time and to experience a little piece of what Christmas has been like for people in Leeds through the ages.”

Other events taking place at Abbey House over Christmas include the chance to visit Father Christmas, listen to carols and dress up.

The object handling session takes place on Wednesday, December 1,1 from 2.45pm until 4.15pm.

For more details on Abbey House including opening times and admission, visit the website.