About York Castle Museum

Explore York Castle Museum

Welcome to the award-winning York Castle Museum – come and immerse yourself in over 400 years of York’s past.

Here you can see hundreds of years of York’s history in one place – from the world renowned Victorian street Kirkgate, to meeting the infamous prisoners in the spooky cells and all the way to the swinging sixties.

There’s something for everyone this year at York Castle Museum. Our interactive galleries hold thousands of historic objects that really bring the past to life, and our exhibitions promise fascinating displays and innovative new ways of learning about York’s past.

What you can see on your visit:

Museum of Broken Relationships – March 2019 – March 2020

Just as Britain is set to break up with the European Union, York Castle Museum brings a collection of stories and symbolic possessions to the city which relate to the ways we fall out of love.

Always heartfelt, sometimes humorous and often deeply moving, the collections from the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, will be enriched with objects from York’s collections which illustrate a key moment in a relationship breaking down.


Kirkgate – The Victorian street that brings history to life

Step onto the cobbles of our Victorian street to meet  the local characters, visit the authentic shops and discover the weird and wonderful collections from this bygone era – from luxurious costumes to tasty traditional sweets and the pharmacist’s unlikely ‘cures’.

From the luxury of the rich to a darker world of poverty and disease, see how York’s 19th Century residents lived, learned and entertained themselves.


York Castle Prison

The museum buildings were once a Georgian Prison, and down in the felons’ cells lies a dark a brutal history – a time of rouges, thieves and murders. Visit our infamous residents and shiver at their stories of rough conditions, crooked justice and harsh punishments… watch out for the most notorious inmate of all – the legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin.


1914: When the World Changed Forever

From the recruiting office to the horrors of the front line, experience the objects and stories of the First World War. New technology and research are combined with the museum’s extensive military, costume and social history collections to tell the fascinating and often moving stories of the Yorkshire people who lived and died during the war that they said would end all wars.


The Sixties

This exhibition recreates the spirit of this exciting decade which saw momentous change in so many areas of public and private life.

The gallery uses fascinating and iconic objects from our social history, art, fashion, military and astronomy collections to bring back the atmosphere of change which swept over the country during the 1960’s. Highlights include a Lambretta scooter, a Dansette record player, Beatles singles and fashion by Mary Quant.


Shaping the Body: 400 Years of Fashion, Food and Life

An iron corset, crotchless pantaloons from the time of Jane Austen, bum rolls and a killer dress are a few of the items featured in our latest permanent exhibition which charts the way fashion, food and fitness have shaped the body over the last 400 years.


To see more information about your visit including opening times and tickets, click here.