World of James Herriot

Front door of James Herriot Museum
23 Kirkgate
North Yorkshire YO7 1PL

Opening Times:

March to October 10am-5pm
(last admission 4pm)
November to March 11am-4pm
(last admission 3 pm)
Open 7 days a week.

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The World of James Herriot is a unique tribute to Alf Wight, vet and author of the James Herriot stories. Based in his original surgery at 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk, North Yorkshire - the 'Skeldale House' of the Herriot books - it takes visitors on a journey back to the 1940s.

When James Herriot died in 1995, Hambleton District Council bought the old surgery and set about painstakingly restoring it. The 1.4 million project includes recreated living quarters and sets from the TV series 'All Creatures Great and Small'. The orginal Austin 7 car used in the series sits in the cottage garden and there is an exclusive documentary to watch.

An interactive gallery has been developed for children to experience science games with a veterinary twist. It sits alongside displays of artefacts from the veterinary world past and present.

Contact Details:
Telephone: 01845 524234 Fax: 01845 525333

Learning Programmes:

Wartime Britain:  In this session, pupils will be able to explore our replica air raid shelter and experience what life was really like for children growing up in World War II. An interactive workshop which allows the group to explore sounds and handle items from this period in history. Discover what it was like to be an evacuee and the effects rationing had on their lives.

Home Sweet Home:
Exploring the 1940s house, pupils will travel back in time and take a look at how the 1940s are different compared to the modern day. Children will be given the opportunity to handle objects and craft a toy from the past, which allows them to gain valuable experience of what homes were like for children in the past.


Who's James Herriot?: Explore the World of James Herriot and discover what inspired author Alf Wight to write his stories. Students will be asked to collect factual information from the museum and look at experiences from their own lives to gather story elements, including setting, characters, and events, to help them build a story. This fun interactive session involves students taking part in hot-seating and story-building games to encourage story creation.


Animals and Us: We will explore and identify a range of animals including farm animals, wild animals and pets. We will discuss the needs of these animals and explore their growth from baby to adult. Focusing on pet care, we will look at the responsibilities we have in ensuring the welfare of animals, as well as discovering the roles that vets and local animal welfare organisations play.


Illustration: Students will have the opportunity to discoverthe Golden Age of illustration and get to know the famous artists. They will explore the original illustrations of the James Herriot children's books and create their own picture.


Literature & Storytelling; History; Art & Design; Citizenship; Veterinary Science

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Associated Resources

Home Front - the civilian war effort

Home Front - the civilian war effort

How children contributed to the war effort Read More »
My Family: My Story

My Family: My Story

Telling stories through museum objects; A digital storytelling project Read More »

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