Fairfax House Museum

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Come and unlock the splendour within the finest Georgian town house in England. A classical architectural masterpiece of its age, Fairfax House was originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax. Its richly decorated interior was designed by York's most distinguished eighteenth-century architect, John Carr.

Extensively adapted in the twentieth century as a cinema and dance hall, Fairfax House was saved from decay and returned to its former glory by York Civic Trust in 1982-84.

Today, Fairfax House once more transports you to the splendour of city-living in Georgian York, the centre of polite society.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon-Thurs Sat 1100-1700
Sun 1330-1700
Closed Fri

Admission charges


Concessions include senior citizens and students.

Great family savings
Entry is FREE for Children under sixteen, so a visit to Fairfax House offers great savings for a family visit.

Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
The Genius of Grinling Gibbons

The Genius of Grinling Gibbons: From Journeyman to King's Carver

  • 14 April — 14 September 2018 *on now

Fairfax House is delighted to announce the recent acquisition of Grinling Gibbons’ ‘King David Panel’ the earliest-known, surviving work by Gibbons – made in York. Saved from international export and potential obscurity in a private collection, this magnificent work now forms part of the permanent collection at Fairfax House.

To celebrate the ‘home-coming’ of this exquisite piece of craftsmanship and to illuminate the extraordinary skill of Grinling Gibbons’ – the Michelangelo of Wood – Fairfax House will be mounting a major new exhibition in 2018, From Journeyman to King’s Carver: The Genius of Grinling Gibbons. Opening on the 370th anniversary of Grinling Gibbons’ birth, this exhibition also marks the 350th year of his arrival in York.

Drawing on new research and bringing together artworks and sculpture by the hand of this iconic individual from across the country (including St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, the Sir John Soane’s Museum, V&A to name just a few), From Journeyman to King’s Carver celebrates Grinling Gibbons’ unequalled talent, his visionary genius, and his ability to transform the medium of wood into something magical. It will explore his development from an obscure journeyman through to becoming the country’s most celebrated master-carver, working for the King himself.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Included as part of admission to Fairfax House

Admission to Fairfax House:
Adult £7.50, Concession £6.00, Child (5-15) £3.00



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Mr Foote's Book Cover

Mr Foote's Other Leg

  • 25 April 2018 7-8:30pm

In Georgian England there was almost nobody more famous than Samuel Foote. Satirist, impressionist and dangerous comedian, he became a ‘celebrity’ in a city and at a moment in time when the concept of selling ‘personality’ was born. Adored by many, despised by some, Foote found himself at the sharp end of both press attacks…and a surgeon’s knife – probably here in Yorkshire – and lost his leg. In an age obsessed with the anatomy of fame, Foote became an emblem for all that might be wrong with a culture newly obsessed with fame.

Historian, actor, dramatist and author of the biography, Mr Foote’s Other Leg, (winner of the 2013 Theatre Book of the Year Award), Ian Kelly narrates the bizarre career of England’s only one-legged transvestite comedy superstar…and what his story tells us of our debt to 18th century culture.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£14.00 (£12.00 Friends & Members)
includes post-lecture wine reception, ‘audience with the author’ and book signing.



Fairfax House Museum
Fairfax House
North Yorkshire

logo: Museums at Night



01904 655 543


01904 652 262

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.