York Castle Museum is a museum located in York, North Yorkshire, England, on the site of York Castle, which was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. The museum itself was founded by John L. Kirk in 1938, and is housed in prison buildings which were built on the site of the castle in the 18th century, the debtors' prison (built in 1701–05 using stone from the ruins of the castle) and the female prison (built 1780–85).
In 1931 John Lamplugh Kirk, a physician and amateur archaeologist based in Pickering, North Yorkshire advertised for expressions of interest from sites who wished to house his large collection of objects relating to the study of Social History. Although he received responses from sites in Middlesbrough, Wakefield, Batley, Doncaster and York, it was the latter which was ultimately successful. The Female Prison was bought by the York Corporation in 1934 and modified to house the Kirk Collection of "bygones", opening as the Castle Museum on 23 April 1938. A major attraction of this new museum was the recreation of a late Victorian street, named 'Kirkgate'; this was the first of its kind in Britain.
|Monday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
Emma Hickman | Feb 10, 2018
Absolutely brilliant, could easily have spent a whole day here, there is so much to see. Wet with kids, 9, 8 and 6 and wee all loved it, the first section is all about the history of york, Victorian era, a toy museum (where I was rather distressed to see quite a few of my childhood toys!) A section on the human body which we did skip over as it want really great for kids, then there is the street set up as a Victorian street, it was amazing, we arrived at this bit a tad late so most of the people in character had gone but the place was amazing! We didn't get as much time in the war section or prison section as the place was due to close, bit what we saw was brilliant. Definitely recommend, well worth the £20, but allow a whole day or at least most of it!
Philip Ashmore | Feb 12, 2018
My favourite museum in York. Cobble street is amazing. So many different parts to look at too. Staff very welcoming and helpful but not in your faces like other museums. Spent a many happy hour here. Lovely shop too with plenty of gifts and teddy bears. Sorry to the staff on the toy section when on my last visit in mid December I farted and nearly wipe you all out. A another must do at york.
Andy Sykes | Jan 17, 2018
Never really heard of this place before finding it on a visit York website. Wasn't really sure what to expect, but wow. An old debtor's and women's prison turned into a museum. Holds the history of York, Victorians, how people lived, toys, chocolate, 1st world war, the 60s and the prison it used to be. We spent a good few hours here, and it's cheap for the money. Staff were knowledgeable and friendly, a nice cafe and shop too. The Victorian street recreation was amazing and so were the prison cells with the stories told of prisoners held there. Next time round were taking the kids with us. Well done on a great museum
Mr Bit Cleaning Services | Feb 5, 2018
Lovely museum, £10.00 entry but £5.00 of under 25, I would start with the left hand side, very informative and interesting, lots of things to see, touch and even try on. Love the courtyard bit, it's amazing that people that work there dress up. The right hand side isn't as exiting but still good and spending time in the cells is fun :)
DEAN BUTLER | Feb 24, 2018
£10 entry I thought was abit steep, that is until your actually inside and worth every penny. Great experience. Took us about 2 hours+ to get round everything and was an amazing escape from the cold outdoors! Well worth a visit if your in York!
Donna Bee | Mar 26, 2018
We popped in here whilst visiting York. We loved it, took my parents and children and more recently my grandchildren, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. There's so much to see, we really enjoyed looking through the different ages and the cells - very good would highly recommend for all ages and entrance is very reasonable. There is a cafe on-site for refreshments and public parking right outside
John Fenn | Apr 24, 2018
It really is York's 'Best day out in history'. The high points for me are: A very well resourced historical street with a series of shops and businesses set in different historical periods. Museum staff are dressed in costumes and uniforms of the period. The World War One exhibition is most informative, respectfully honouring those men and women who served and yet it is in neither triumphalist nor pacifist in tone. The prison section is well interpreted with actors being projected onto cell walls and seemingly interacting with visitors. All in all an excellent museum.
Jose Ramon Macias | Apr 18, 2018
Great day out for the family!! Lot of different historic locations recreated. Very interesting, entertaining and educational. Cafeteria would benefit from a few more tables and more variety in hot lunches. Prices are quite reasonable, though.
fraser forsyth | May 18, 2018
It would be hard to give this place anything other than a five star review. Very family friendly it even has a buggy park near the entrance so you can park up safely. Huge car park right outside and an easy place to get to by public transport. Very friendly knowledgeable staff will help you make the most of your visit. Dont underestimate how long you can spend here as there us so much to do and see. Regular special events make it a place you will want to keep coming back to.
sharon longstaff | May 30, 2018
I cannot express how delighted I am with this place. I could literally visit it again and again and know I would find it just as exciting and interesting as my first place. There is so much to see and experience. So much information and different pieces to look at.. I only wished they rented out rooms and I could move in there.. or at least offer me a job.. lol it's one of the best Museums I have been to. Can't wait to go back.
Isabelle Lambert | May 27, 2018
Very, very cool museum. A lot of great info, a ton of variety, plenty of interactive stuff, and a full on recreation of an entire street back then. I'm talking day and night light changes, stores with actor-cashiers who teach you about the daily lives of people and who can answer your questions. It is insane. Plan enough time to enjoy it plenty!
Alex Price | Jun 12, 2018
Great day out, especially on a rainy day. Lots of interactive displays to keep kids busy. We liked the exhibition on fashion and how it affected body throughout the ages. Kirkgate, reconstruction of a Victorian street is amazing! The part where the cooking workshops are seems a bit dated but overall we had an amazing time!
Jan L | Jul 17, 2018
Very interesting place. I could learn about life in England in the past. York wasn't the main attraction here,but it is not a bad thing I enjoyed exploring different exhibitions here. High class museum. Just be there
KATHRYN JONES | Jun 20, 2018
Fab few hours in an extensive and well informative museum. Loads to see and well laid out. Lovely coffee shop and gift shop. The remembrance section was very moving as they also invited you to write your thoughts on a blackboard
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