Harborough Museum

History of the Museum

History of the Museum

The Harborough Museum grew out of the collection of the Market Harborough Historical and Archaeological Society, which held its first meeting in 1931. The following year several historic objects were displayed at a talk by H G Coales on the ‘history of Market Harborough’. The first recorded object given to the Society was an engraving of the town, presented by Mr Harris in 1932.

The Society’s growing collection was displayed in Welland House in The Square where it remained until 1939, when the ‘Museum Room’ was opened in the County Library on The Square. In 1981 a partnership between the District and County Councils and the Historical Society was formed to open a new museum. On the 28th June 1983 the Harborough Museum opened in the Symington Building.

The Society’s collection was the foundation of the museum and from the 1980s the County Council Museum Service developed and managed the museum collection with the continuing support of the Society. For the next 30 years displays, exhibitions, talks, events and publications celebrated the history and culture of the Harborough area and many objects were accessioned into the Market Harborough collection.

The creation of the Hallaton Treasure Gallery in 2009 transformed the museum with major grants from a series of funders.

In 2014 the revitalisation of the Symington Building by Harborough District Council led to the creation of the Symington 1 hub of library, museum and adult learning services and redesigned museum displays and exhibition spaces were created with the support of the Market Harborough and the Bowdens Charity.

Harborough Museum continues to be a partnership between Leicestershire County Council, Harborough District Council and the Market Harborough Historical Society.

Opening hours

Tuesday - Friday: 10am to 6pm

Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Sunday - Monday: Closed

Free entry


Contact details

Tel: 0116 305 3627

Address: The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7LT

Send us a message

Logos for the partners of Harborough Museum including Harborough District Council, Leicestershire County Council, Market Harborough Historical Society and supported by Market Harborough and the Bowdens Charity
The Symington Building logo