Go on a journey through history, from the Jacobean era to the Swinging Sixties, in this museum located in the former prison of an 11th-century castle.
Discover the many changing faces of York in the York Castle Museum, deep in the prison chambers of William the Conqueror’s castle. Built in 1068, the historic building now contains fascinating exhibits that encompass Jacobean and Victorian eras through to the 20th century.
An archeologist founded the museum in the 18th-century prison buildings in 1938. Get a sense of prison life as you walk through the eerie corridors. Tour the cells to hear stories of scary former prisoners.
There are several permanent galleries a selection of touring exhibits. Explore the Toy Stories section to see dolls, games and all manner of products that have entertained children over the past 150 years. Take the kids to the century-old carousel and the Teddy Trail play area.
The Sixties is another popular part of the museum. Learn about the huge changes that music and art brought to British society in the turbulent decade. Feel a sense of nostalgia as you look at a Dansette record player, Beatles singles and the retro marketing on food packaging and old TV footage. Climb inside the Mercury space capsule and get your picture taken holding a soccer trophy from the era.
Other highlights include a working clock from the 1780s, Victorian ice-cream makers and Kirkgate, a replica of a typical Victorian street.
Kids under 16 can enter for free with a paying adult. The museum is open daily year-round, with the exception of a few days during the Christmas season.
York Castle Museum is one of the many historic attractions located in the center of York. It lies on the west bank of the River Foss. Take a bus or taxi to this historic district to see the museum among other highlights, such as Clifford’s Tower, York Dungeon and The Shambles.