• Fully physically accessible (There is step-free access to all areas except the Egyptian Balcony)
  • Toilets
  • Lunch facilities
  • Coach drop off
  • Gift shop
  • Goody bags

Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

A trip to the Harris is a great way to fire young imaginations. Discover a Victorian landmark in the heart of Preston which brings together Greek-inspired architecture, collections of art, textiles and ceramics, history, and a library under one roof. Explore our collections and bring history and art to life, handling genuine artefacts,  make sculptures, experience our changing exhibitions and even create your own Greek myth.

Learning Sessions

Stone Age

(Half day) KS1/2

Can you solve the mystery of the bones under the bungalow? Piece together the clues of a surprising archaeological discovery to find out about prehistoric people in Lancashire. Then follow up with an exploration of artefacts showing the changes from Stone Age to Bronze Age life.


(Half day) EYFS, KS1/2

Sort toys onto a timeline, explore how they were used through play and then make your own toy to round off this enjoyable session.

Ancient Greeks

(Half day) KS1/2

Hold a piece of Greek history in your hands, think like an archaeologist and build the Parthenon temple. This session uses objects and the museum’s impressive architecture to bring this fascinating period to life.

Greek Myths

(Half day) KS1/2

Heroes wanted! Are you up to a challenge? As you travel around the museum you will create mythical beasts, discover pots with magical powers and earn your reward of ancient Greek coins.

Preston in the Past

(Half day) KS1/2

What was Preston like in the past? From Romans to Viking settlers who lived here before the town existed, to the growth of the Victorian period, explore how Preston has changed through objects, maps and photographs.
Choose from the following options:
– Early history to the mills
– Victorian Preston

Cottoning On

(Half day) KS1/2

Find out how the cotton industry changed a Lancashire town and what life was like for children working in the mills. Discover the processes of carding and weaving, and investigate original objects.

Preston Dock – a local study

(Half day) KS1/2

Explore how the dock brought bananas, wood pulp and petrol to Lancashire. A range of source materials reveals why the dock was built, what it was like to work there, and what led to its closure.


(Half day) EYFS, KS1/2

What can we learn about people from their portraits? Investigate a selection of our portraits, copy their expressions, find clues in their clothing and strike a pose before children create their own self-portrait.

What is Sculpture?

(Half day) KS1/2

Explore a variety of sculptures from our collections and touch different materials from which they’re made. Create an abstract piece together and be inspired to mould or construct something new.

Sudden Rising of the Nile

(Half day) KS1/2

The river is flooding! How would it feel to flee your home, taking only the belongings you can carry? Investigate issues and emotions raised by our painting The Sudden Rising of the Nile through role play and drama techniques, leading to diary recount.

Awesome Authors and Super Stories!

(Half day) KS1/2

Bring your favourite fictional worlds to life as we explore the stories of favourite authors: learn about the person behind the story, and how they bring a story to life. Pupils will create their own exciting tales using a variety of interactive techniques including dice games, storyboards and drama to find the best way to tell their stories.

Additional Activities

Extra Information

  • The Harris Library welcomes schools for a free introduction to their activities and resources.
  • Free site visits to teachers planning a visit.