York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum
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Come and see hundreds of years of York's history in one place – from recreated Jacobean dining rooms to infamous Victorian criminals and all the way to the Space Age and 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 new exhibitions for 2014 promise fascinating displays and innovative new ways of learning about York's past.

Don’t forget that kids go free with a paying adult – it's the perfect family day out.

Exhibition: When the World Changed Forever. York Castle Museum's stunning new exhibition brings First World War to life like never before, on its hundredth anniversary.

Venue Type:

Museum, Castle or defences, Heritage site

Opening hours

York Castle Museum is open daily from 9.30am until 5pm, except 25 and 26 December and 1 January, and will be closing at 2.30pm on 24 and 31 December.

Admission charges

Adult: £10.00 (25 years + over)
*Access Ticket - £5
**Child (16 and under) - Free (16 and under)
York Card Holders - Free (subject to a valid York Card)
Wheelchair user plus one carer – FREE

Group rates are available for groups of 10+. For further details please contact Group Bookings on 01904 687633.

Come Back For Free:
Tickets purchased before 22.05.15 are valid for 12 months, at no extra charge, so you can come back as many times as you like for a year. Tickets are non-transferable so we need to take your name and address, and you will be asked for ID on your return. If you don’t want to give your details, day tickets are available at the same price.

*Access Tickets: Up to 50% discount for visitors aged 17-24 or in receipt of Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobs Seekers Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support. Evidence of support may be required.
**Maximum four children per adult, additional children will be charged at £4.50 per child.

The entire collection of York Castle Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

It houses some of the country's finest collections of costume, textiles, military and social history. Kirkgate, the famous reconstructed Victorian Street that provides the core of the Castle Museum, is a milestone in the history of museums.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Science and Technology, Personalities, Music, Medicine, Land Transport, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Agriculture

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
1914: When the World Changed Forever

1914: When the World Changed Forever

  • 28 June 2014 — 31 December 2018 *on now

The terror of total war and its revolutionary impact on life around the world will be explored in this major new exhibition marking the centenary of the First World War.

From the pre-war golden age of peace and prosperity visitors will be sent to the recruitment office and travel via train to the horrors of the front line - from rats to foot rot, shell shock to gas warfare. Back home, daily life in Britain was changing beyond recognition while around the world millions would die as Europe's empires clashed in the first truly global conflict.

The exhibition opens on June 28th - 100 years to the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which then sparked a chain of events which led to the outbreak of war.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Exhibition included in York Castle Museum admission.



The Men Who Said No

  • 1 November 2016 — 29 January 2017 *on now

As part of York Castle Museum’s First World War Exhibition 1914: When the World Changed Forever, York Quakers have curated an exhibition that looks at the stories of some of York’s 220 known Conscientious Objectors.

Through photography and poignant extracts from personal statements, including recently discovered documents thought to have been destroyed in the 1920s, you will hear about those who challenged conscription, the reasoning behind their decisions not to go to war and the punishments they endured.

The Community Room at York Castle Museum invites community groups to display works that relate to the First World War.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Exhibition is included in cost of admission.



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Bitter Sweet History - aspects of the British Slave Trade


Recognising how important the slave trade was to Britain and focussing on goods such as sugar which were related to the movement of slaves and their work on the plantations, also contains resources to support the teaching of the issues around Fair Trade and the many forms of slavery which still exist today.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Everyday Life in Victorian York

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...”
Pupils experience opposite ends of Victorian society as they take a Grand Tour through the museum. To get an appreciation of the opportunities and limitations of the 19th century class system, all pupils will try their hand at doing the laundry, receive a short, sharp lesson in the Victorian schoolroom, explore the shops, businesses and factories in Kirkgate with a Gentleman guide and help make butter to be taken back to school.

How to obtain

Call 01904 650333 or email groupbookings@ymt.org.uk to book a 2 hour session, available 29 June-3 July 2009. Price £90 per class of 30. Visit www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk/Page/WorkshopProgramme.aspx for more information.

Toys Through Time


A resource about toys past and present focusing on how toys move, and the materials from which they are made. There is a quiz at the end which can be used to reinforce what children have learned.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

York Castle Museum
The Eye of York
North Yorkshire






01904 687687

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.