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A fresh look for the Royal Pump Room Museum

The Royal Pump Room Museum which celebrated 70 years this year since the building became the town's museum in 1953, is being given a fresh look. A refurbishment programme has taken place over the last few weeks to bring a more modern feel to the space and to highlight the building’s original purpose.

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When the Royal Pump Room opened in 1842, the sulphur and iron waters from the wells beneath the building were dispensed from an ornately-decorated octagonal wooden counter by spa assistants.

With the development of more modern treatments, the desire for spa cures declined and the number of visitors to the Royal Pump Room diminished leading to the building eventually closing its doors.

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The Royal Pump Room re-opened as a museum and the counter was moved in to the 1913 annexe to act as the admissions desk in the 1980s. Now with the focus on re-creating the museum interior to be more in keeping with how it looked when the waters were still being dispensed, the octagonal desk has been moved back to its original position in the 1842 room.

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Historical photographs of the Pump Room showing its original use now grace the walls, giving an insight into the important spa history of the building. Visitors can watch an introductory video where Harry, who runs the very popular Free Walking Tours of Harrogate, describes the development of the Harrogate spa.

In addition to this, a new glass floor will be laid down for visitors to view the sulphur and iron wells in the basement.

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The entrance is now more in keeping with the rest of the building with new flooring at the entrance and spa exhibits in the glass display cabinets highlighting the spa heritage of Harrogate and the famous visitors who flocked to the town to take the restorative waters. Interpretation boards highlight the spa story and give visitors an overview of a day in Harrogate during the Victorian spa heyday.

A visit to the Royal Pump Room Museum is a must when you visit Harrogate. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm. Find out more about the Royal Pump Room Museum and plan your trip.

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