Published: Tuesday, 25th July 2017

One of Harrogate's most celebrated spa buildings marks its 175th anniversary with a party on Friday (21 July 2017).

The Octagonal Room, at Harrogate's Royal Pump Room Museum, was built in 1842 and formed part of a building designed to house the strongest sulphur well in Europe. In 1913 an extension was opened, and the building became a museum in 1951. The building was last updated in 1987.

Visitors to the museum on Friday morning will be able to learn more about the history of the famous room, the latest news about redevelopment plans for the museum, and be the first to take a special new well tour featuring the science behind the sulphur.

Funded by the British Society for the History of Science, Matt Holmes from the University of Leeds has been working at the Royal Pump Room museum as a scientist in residence over the last few months. Matt has been examining the specific content of the water and the different ways in which it has been considered to act as a cure since the wells were first discovered. He has also assembled a collection of images of the Spa activity over the years.

The 175th anniversary celebrations will also feature live jazz music from two musicians, both peripatetic music teachers at Harrogate Grammar School, who will recreate the ambience of the Pump Room's heyday.

In May of this year the council announced an investment of £150,000 towards the refurbishment of the Royal Pump Room Museum, as well as plans to look for further funding from external organisations to improve the visitor experience at the museum.

Harrogate Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Councillor Stanley Lumley, will be at the birthday celebrations. Councillor Lumley said: “Harrogate owes its development from a small 14th century hamlet to the thriving 21st century town it is today to the special wells and the spa buildings built to cater for the visitors who flocked to the town to take the waters.

“It's fitting that, as we celebrate 175 years of one of its most famous buildings, we are looking forward to developments which will ensure its future importance to the town.”

The 175th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Pump Room museum's Octagonal Room take place between 10.30am and 12 noon on Friday 21 July.

For more information on the museum and its attractions, go to