The Leece Museum

The Leece, found on Peel quayside, is one of "those" museums. The tiny, quirky, little places that offer more surprises than you'd think possible.

Situated in Peel's old courthouse, it's mostly contained in two rooms across two floors. On the ground floor there's a display of Classic motorcycles, but much more interesting than that, we'd suggest, is that they're housed in the infamous ‘Black Hole’ where convicts were held for crimes such as drunkenness, prostitution, livestock theft and murder, alongside those poor souls marked for transportation to the Colonies. It's said that, during the world famous Potato Riots of 1820 (what do you mean, you've never heard of them?), one man, whose crime remains unrecorded, was locked up in here alongside six women. On his release, he was oberved as being "...inexplicably exhausted". Some mysterious, potato-related ailment, we'd guess.

Upstairs the museum concentrates on the social history of Peel - fishing and boat-building are both well-represented, as is Peel's somewhat more unexpected history as a site of wartime internment. A small section on law and order is crowned by the last birching stool to be used in Peel - a fairly innocuous bit of furniture, until you look more closely and realise that one of the rungs is worn down to the bare wood, having been grasped by probably hundreds of boys and young men in their pain whilst undergoing this ancient form of punishment. It's a sobering sight, and typical of the insight and genuine connection which smaller museums can so often provide and which never seem to hit home in quite the same way when presented in larger, less personal environments.

The museum has a small, but well-stocked, research centre offering up-to-date archival systems for the true history buffs and ancestral researchers amongst us.

Photo by By Malost - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


All areas are accessible to disabled visitors. Guide dogs permitted (all dogs, as long as they are on a lead, are permitted into the Museum). Limited parking is available nearby on Peel Quayside.

Contact Details

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Opening Hours
Day of the Week Opening Hours
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10am to 4pm
Wednesday 10am to 4pm
Thursday 10am to 4pm
Friday 10am to 4pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday Closed

Open Sundays during TT period


Published: 17 May 2022

The information provided is correct at the time of publishing. Please check with the organisation involved for the most up to date information.