To provide you with the best experience, cookies are used on this site. Find out more here.

Allow cookies

Celebrating 80 Years of York Castle Museum

Exhibition

York Castle Museum, The Eye of York, YORK, North Yorkshire, YO1 9RY

Tel: 01904 687687

Opening of York Castle Museum

Book Tickets Online

About us

York Castle Museum first opened on 23 April (St George’s Day) 1938, with people queuing around the Eye of York to come and see its ground breaking displays and street scene.

Dr John Lamplugh Kirk, a doctor from Pickering, founded the museum. Its unique selling point was Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street which is now world-famous. Since opening in 1938, more than 32 million people have visited the museum.

York Castle Museum was the first of a new kind of museum in Britain. Traditional museum displays organised objects typographically and chronologically – all the objects of one type were displayed together so that the changes through time could be compared.

However, Dr Kirk wanted the focus of his museum to be on the objects, showing them in their original context. The street, workshops and domestic rooms were all created in the museum to show specific objects. As the 20th century progressed, this style of museum display has become firmly established.

Dr Kirk realised his vision for a museum that would transport people back in time, but his health continued to deteriorate, and he died on the 26 February 1940. His legacy was a museum which brought the past to life, and which continues to make memories for generations of visitors.

To mark our 2018 anniversary we’re hosting a weekend of special events plus a new display showing some of the earliest and more unusual items which were collected by Dr John Kirk.

Birthday Weekend – Special Activities

Meet Kirk on Kirkgate – 21-23 April, 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Discover the origins and of our world-famous street with costumed actors playing the roles of museum founder Dr John Kirk and former curator Violet Rodgers.

Traditional Party Crafts – 21 and 22 April, 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Join in with traditional birthday crafts and play pin the tail on the donkey!

Chocolate Celebrations – 21-23 April, 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Explore the history of chocolate and watch demonstrations of tempering as we make special 80th birthday treats – you might even get to try some! Free with admission, no need to book.

Guide Prices

Normal admission fees apply

Follow Us

TripAdvisor

What's Nearby

  1. The Parisi Hotel

    A charming Victorian former rectory, now a stylish & friendly small hotel providing bed &...

    0.11 miles away
  2. The Riverside York

    The Riverside is a river fronted Victorian townhouse in the centre of historic York.

    0.13 miles away
  3. Inyork Holidays

    There is a selection of modern apartments and period townhouses to choose from with easy...

    0.13 miles away
  1. Peter Warehouse Apartments

    Centrally located apartments in converted warehouse.

    0.16 miles away
  2. Staycity Aparthotels York

    Conveniently located on Paragon Street, Staycity York offers 197 brand new apartments...

    0.16 miles away
  3. Luxury Houseboat Till

    Motor Vessel Till, our Houseboat, is the only Houseboat within York with its own...

    0.18 miles away
  4. The Golden Fleece

    The Golden Fleece is York's Most Haunted pub, thus one of the England's most haunted...

    0.2 miles away
  5. Hotel Indigo York

    Hotel Indigo York is a boutique hotel located on Walmgate which is steeped in history and...

    0.21 miles away
  6. Suite 10, Fossgate

    Suite 10 is on the second floor of a Grade 2 listed building that at one time was a hotel...

    0.21 miles away
  7. Middletons Hotel

    Nestled in secluded courtyard gardens and within the City walls, Middletons Hotel offers...

    0.22 miles away
  8. Suite 5, Fossgate

    Superbly located on Fossgate, famous foodie street and home to a host of eclectic small...

    0.21 miles away
  9. The Queens Hotel

    78 bedrooms all with ensuite facilties. Licensed bar and restaurant. Breakfast & evening...

    0.24 miles away
  10. Cherry Hill Suite

    Cherry Hill Suite is in the prestigious Bishops Wharf development on the bank of the...

    0.23 miles away
  11. Novotel York Centre

    Situated on the river Foss, Novotel York is a modern hotel in the city centre close to...

    0.24 miles away
  12. Apartment 15 Luxury Loft

    Modern, self catering, 3 bedroom duplex apartment in the heart of the city of York

    0.28 miles away
  13. Murton Grange

    Farmhouse and four cottages set in rural surroundings, easily accessible and
    Only 5...

    0.28 miles away
Previous Next

Share the adventure

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss