Fairfax House

Price guide: Mid-range

Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN

Price guide: Mid-range

The grand Fairfax House.
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By David Cawley, your York expert

#16 of 20
expert-rated things to do in York
Expert overall rating:4.0 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Singles, Art, Design and architecture, History, Sightseeing

Expert review of Fairfax House

One of the most richly decorated 18th century townhouses in England.

A Regency masterpiece both upstairs and downstairs. The city home of Viscount Fairfax was built and furnished as a potential dowry for his daughter Anne and was for a while the place to be seen amongst Georgian York’s high society. Since the Viscount’s death, the house managed to survive the ravages of becoming a gentlemen’s club, military offices then cinema and dance hall until the 1980’s when York Civic Trust took over and restored it to its full elegant glory. Furniture was acquired from the local Terry family (of confectionary fame) while detailed accounts kept by Fairfax’s staff now help the kindly and genteel ladies hovering in each room share detailed knowledge of the house and its inhabitants with visitors. There are also audio guides and the house also plays host to a number of events and special exhibitions throughout the year.

A staunch Catholic, Anne Fairfax never did find a suitable man to marry.


Price advice: 

Adults £6.00, concessions £5.00, children under 16 free.
Keep your ticket once entry has been paid and you can return as many times as you like during the following 12 months.
Yorkshire Pass accepted (See the Sights and attractions section on my York insider tips page for more details).

Expert tips: 
Allow at least an hour to explore.
Don’t miss the exquisite stucco ceilings.
Disabled access is limited.
An attraction hardly like to keep offspring amused for too long, but to help keep younger ones from getting bored, the house provides dedicated trail guides.

More information on Fairfax House:

Price guide:
Architectural site, Historic site, Museum
Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN
+44 1904 655 543
Months open:
Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Opening times:
Tue-Sat 10am-5pm. Sunday 12.30pm-4pm also (Entrance by guided tour at 11am). Monday Entrance by guided tour only, 11am and 2pm. (On Bank Holiday Mondays the House is open 10am-5pm with no guided tours). Last admission half an hour before closing times.
Free tags / Keywords:
Regency, Georgian, Townhouse

Have you been to Fairfax House? Would you recommended it?