Ryedale District Council

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Museums and galleries

Malton Museum02 resizedYou will find well stocked shops at Ryedale Folk Museum, Beck Isle Museum, Malton Museum and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, each selling gifts, books and locally made items which have significance to their own collections and sites.

You can find details of artists with studios which are open throughout the year on the Art pages.  You can also buy local art directly from the artist at Open Studios events.  The largest of these is the North Yorkshire Open Studios which runs in June each year, and includes artists and design / makers working in all media.


Ryedale Folk Museum is a beautiful open-air museum in the North York Moors National Park and a wonderful place to visit, learn or volunteer. The 5 acre site covers 2,000 years of history from the Iron Age to the 1950s. The Highlights of the Harrison Collection are housed in a purpose-build space at the top of the site and are unmissable. The museum is in the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole, in the North York Moors National Park and is open daily from February to mid-December.

Inside beckisleBeck Isle Museum occupies a beautiful listed building in the small market town of Pickering. It has 27 themed rooms and a large courtyard showing a diverse range of objects, which reflect the local lives and customs of Pickering and Ryedale over the last 200 years. The museum is only a one minute walk from the centre of the market town of Pickering and 100 metres from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Malton Museum holds a nationally important archaeological collection. In addition to the renowned Roman collections, the museum holds an excellent social history collection relating to trade, local government, racing and other aspects of the local area. The museum is housed in the Subscription Rooms on Yorkersgate and the current exhibition “Malton Goes to Market” tells the fascinating tale of Malton’s history as a market town from pre-Roman times to the present day. It is free to visit and usually open Thursday to Saturday, but please check the Museum’s website before making a special trip. There are lots of special events and activities during school holidays.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway not only has magnificent steam engines and beautiful rural stations, it is also an accredited museum, holding a fascinating collection of railway related ephemera. The NYMR archive holds a substantial collection of plans, architectural drawings, maps, papers, books and small artefacts.

In addition to these four museums Ryedale is home to the Woodhams Stone Collections, two privately held collections which have been gifted to the people of Malton and Norton by their collectors. These objects include historic photographs and postcards relating to the twin towns, as well as items from important local industries, such as brewing. These collections are not currently held in a museum, but can be seen, in partnership with Malton Museum, at the Subscription Rooms as well as at regular open days and outreach events.

All the organisations above have joined together as Museums Ryedale, so that they can deliver a number of initiatives commissioned by the Council. This programme of events includes a heritage trail, a Residents' Heritage Festival and a number of exhibitions.


comb love tokenEach of Ryedale's four accredited, independent museums has a Collecting Policy, which sets out their areas of interest for acquiring new items.  These policies will prioritise the objects which are accepted depending upon gaps in the collection and the availability of appropriate storage.

If you have an object which you feel you may like to donate to a museum collection, please contact the appropriate museum directly.  If you offer an object to a museum, which feels that it falls outside their collecting policy, they will be able to direct you to the appropriate museum in the area. 

Please be aware that all museums hold very many more objects than they can show at any one time, so your donation may be held in store rather than put immediately on display.

Beck Isle Museum
01751 473653

Malton Museum
Development Worker
01653 691262

North Yorkshire Moors Railway
01751 473799 ext:247

Ryedale Folk Museum
Collections Officer
01751 417367


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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House, Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

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