The Attractions

York Castle Museum, York

York Castle Museum is one of Britain's leading museums of everyday life. It shows how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and by recreating rooms, shops, streets - and even prison cells.

It is best known for its recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate, which has been made bigger during 2012 with new backstreets to explore, more goods on display and real stories of York people and businesses to discover.

The street was named after the museum's founder, Dr John L. Kirk, a North Yorkshire country doctor who collected everyday objects and wanted to keep them safe for future generations.

The museum's room settings include a Victorian parlour, an 1850s Moorland cottage, Jacobean and Georgian dining rooms, a 1940s kitchen and a 1950s front room.

Our grooviest gallery, The Sixties, explores the music, fashion and everyday life of this exciting decade.

Elsewhere are displays of historic toys, fashion, armour, weapons, tools, printing presses, cooking utensils, farming equipment and much more.

The museum's past as two prison buildings is explored in York Castle Prison, where visitors come face to face with ex-prisoners including highwayman Dick Turpin, who was hanged in 1739 for horse stealing.

Conditions in the overcrowded prison were harsh and brutal and the real stories of the prisoners and staff are told in sometimes gruesome detail.

Turpin spent his last six months in the Debtors' Prison, which was built in 1701-5, and today houses half of the museum's displays. The other half of the museum was originally the Female Prison, built in 1780-83.

The museum, which opened in 1938, was named after the former York Castle, which stood on the site.

Remains of the former Castle walls can be seen outside the museum next to the River Foss and our Victorian watermill, Raindale Mill.

Work has taken place in Spring 2012 to restore the mill and the nearby riverside area and the waterwheel can be seen in action again on many weekends, between 11am and 1pm - but please check before visiting to avoid disappointment.


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Virtual Tours

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Quick Info

BookYork Castle Museum, York
The Eye of York

01904 687 687

Opening Times

Monday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Sunday: 9:30am - 5:00pm


£14.00 per Adult
£7.50 per Child
£7.50 per Senior
£7.50 per Student

Other Info


Gardens, Adventure Playground and Stable Courtyard open daily from 10pm



Share This Attraction



27 Apr 15 10:38:01

RT @historywardrobe: An nvitation to magical @YorkCastle #FairytaleFashion presentation 6th May…


27 Apr 15 10:01:24

We have a very special event taking place, 6 May with @historywardrobe exploring fairytale fashion. Why not join us?


24 Apr 15 14:15:36

We have a very special event taking place, 6 May with @historywardrobe exploring fairytale fashion. Why not join us?