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.

Book your tickets here.

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 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:

Kirkgate – The Victorian street that brings history to life

Kirkgate is a recreated Victorian street which has become the most iconic part of York Castle Museum.

The street is one of the oldest recreated indoor streets of its kind in the world, possibly the oldest, and the first to be opened in Britain.

In 2012 Kirkgate reopened after a large restoration and redisplay project. The timeframe was narrowed down to 1870-1901, some of the locations were changed, and all the shops and business were renamed. Now, each shop and business on Kirkgate is named after a real business that operated in late Victorian York.

New research means that every single shop on the street is now based on a real York business, all of which operated here between 1870 and 1901. Our costumed guides can tell you more about each shop when you arrive…

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.

The Period Rooms

A series of rooms laid out with furniture and artefacts from a variety of eras. Ranging from 17th century dining rooms to Victorian parlours, we can see how our ancestors lived, and maybe recognise some objects that we still use today!