There are numerous themes within the museum collections, most relate to local life over the past 200 years. The Museum is housed within a Grade II listed Georgian building, previously called Beck Hall.
There are recreated period shops and trades including the chemist, blacksmith and village store. The impressive photographic collections holds around 25,000 local images. There are two important oil paintings both painted in 1943 by Reginald John 'Rex' Whistler, who was based in Pickering as an officer with the Welsh Guards.