Museums with pharmacy collections
A large number of British museums hold pharmacy-related material in their collections, ranging from complete reconstructed pharmacies to small collections of items from a local premises.
This listing provides details of museum collections which have been supplied to the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Each is listed, in alphabetical order by county and country, with a brief description of the relevant part of their collections. Please note that the provision of these museums’ details is for information only, and does not imply a recommendation by the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
We always welcome suggestions of additional museums to add to our records.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Milton Keynes Museum
Tel: 01908 316222
The Museum Street includes frontages and objects from local businesses, including a chemist’s shop.
Cambridge and County Folk Museum
2/3 Castle Street
Tel: 01223 355159
Tel: 01642 479500
Pharmacy equipment dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s, from Fairbanks & Franks, a Guisborough chemist.
Flambards Victorian Village
Tel: 01326 573404
Victorian pharmacy recreated - “unique chemist’s shop time capsule”.
Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum
Tel: 0191 370 4000
Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Kendal Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry
Tel: 01539 722464
Reconstructed late 1800s pharmacy.
The Park Pharmacy
The Merchant’s House Museum
Contact: Dr Jan Knight 01752 565676
Reconstructed 1864 pharmacy, owned by the Park Pharmacy Trust
529 Babbacombe Road
Tel: 01803 293975
Small display of pharmacy objects in the Agatha Christie Room
The Priest's House Museum & Garden
23-27 High Street
Tel: 01202 882533
Red House Museum and Gardens
Tel: 0845 603 5635
4 High Street
Tel: 01202 262600
Cartledge’s Pharmacy from 1879
‘How we lived then’ Museum of Shops
20 Cornfield Terrace
Tel: 01323 37143
The pharmacy is one of the shops represented in this museum exploring a century of shopping.
Saffron Walden Museum
Tel: 01799 510333
Dutch drug jars on display, contents of a chemist’s shop available by request.
Salford Museum and Art Gallery
Tel: 0161 778 0800
Reconstructed chemist’s shop in ‘Larkhill Place’
Winchester City Museum
Tel: 01962 848269
Richard Hunt’s pharmacy: a unique collection of pharmaceutical furnishings from 1700s to1900s. Includes early delftware jars, mahogany counter panels, undecorated 1800s drawers & glass doors leading to a preparation room, pill making equipment, prescription & recipe books.
Hitchin Museum and Art Gallery
Tel: 01462 434476
Complete reconstruction of Perks and Llewellyn pharmacy, with counter, drug and run and full contents. The Museum also has a physic garden.
St Albans Museum
Tel: 01727 819340
Museum of Lincolnshire Life
The Old Barracks
Museum of London
Tel: 020 7600 3699
Mock-up pharmacy from the 1800s
Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garret
9A St Thomas’ Street
Tel: 020 7955 4791
Operating theatre dating from before the use of anaesthetics. Medical history of St Thomas’ Hospital, Guy’s Hospital and Evelina Children’s Hospital from the 1100s to the late 1800s.
Tel: 020 7942 4000
Collections cover scientific, technological and medical change since the 1700s. Though rich in British material, they result from worldwide acquisition.
38 West Hill
Pharmacy exhibit in teashop
St Andrew’s Street
Tel: 01603 629127
Extensive collection with a complete reconstructed early 1900s pharmacy, including mahogany furniture and fittings, drug run with contents, bottles, jars and chemist’s sundries. Material collected from across Norfolk.
Museum of Nottingham Life
Tel: 0115 9153600
A pharmacy is one of the reconstructed shops based on material from Nottingham premises.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Tel: 01952 884 391
Reconstructed pharmacy shop as part of the Victorian town
North Somerset Museum
Tel: 01934 621028
One room of pharmacy artefacts
Tel: 01889 881388
Working display illustrates techniques used by pharmacist and has fittings from a nearby shop.
Stockton on Tees
Preston Hall Museum
Stockton on Tees
Tel: 01642 781184
Full reconstructed pharmacy with contents.
Centre for Economic Botany
Royal Botanic Gardens
Tel: 020 7188 2679
The Economic Botany Collection illustrates the extent of human use of plants around the world, including for medicine. The Pharmaceutical Society’s original materia medica collection now forms part of the collection.
Rural Life Centre
Old Kiln Museum
Tel: 01252 795571
Market Hall Museum
Tel: 01926 412500
Black Country Living Museum
Tel: 0121 557 9643
9 The Causeway
Tel: 01403 254959
The Museum’s Shops and Shopping gallery displays fixtures from 'Williams & Smith', a chemist shop formerly in West Street.
Bradford on Avon Museum
Bradford on Avon
Tel: 01225 863280
Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery
Complete contents of Stewards Pharmacy, formerly at 27 High Street, Worcester.
Abbey House Museum
Tel: 0113 2305492
Victorian pharmacy as part of a Victorian street.
Beck Isle Museum of Rural Life
Tel: 01751 473653
Pharmacy jars, jars of magical cures and recipe books.
Tel: 01482 300 300
Reconstruction of Mr Castelow’s pharmacy which stood at 159 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, for 133 years.
Ryedale Folk Museum
Hutton le Hole
Tel: 01751 417367
Tel: 0113 244 4343
Over 60,000 objects, books and trade catalogues relating to the history of surgery, medicine and health care.
Tel: 01845 527707
Cashier machine, pill machine, powder folder, pestle & mortar, named bottles.
Tolson Memorial Museum
Tel: 01484 223830
York Castle Museum
The Eye of York
Tel: 01904 650333
Complete reconstructed pharmacy as part of a Victorian street.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Tel: 01224 337719
Entire shop fittings, registers and records from Davidson & Kay, Aberdeen, 1800s-1980s.
The St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum
12 North Street
Tel: 01334 477629
Chemist shop display with objects dating from the 1800s and early 20th century. Many of the items come from a shop in the town.
People’s Palace Museum
Tel: 0141 276 0788
Scottish early 1900s pharmacy, coloured glass bottles, tins, pots, jars of proprietary & patent medicines, nasal douche, carbolic spray, enema syringes, magnet electro machine, blood circulator, urine testing box, pill rolling & suppository making equip. Hospital pharmaceutical cabinet from Forresthall Hospital.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales
Tel: 01558 668768
Reconstructed Victorian pharmacy and an apothecary’s garden
Tel: 01597 824513
Small display of pharmacy shop fittings
Ulster American Folk Park
Tel: 028 8224 3292
Reconstructed Victorian street includes Hill’s Chemist Shop, originally from Strabane.
Visiting the museum
Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
1 Lambeth High Street
Tel: 020 7572 2210 (museum enquiries only)
Fax: 020 7735 7629
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum is intending to move early next year to new premises in London. As a result, the Museum will be closed to the public temporarily from 16 July 2014, and will reopen as soon as possible after the move is complete.