Our museum, Fairfax House, is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses. Let Fairfax House transport you to the glory days of city-living in eighteenth-century York.
Originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter Anne, Fairfax House’s richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings make it a masterpiece of Georgian design and architecture.
After a vibrant and varied life, first as a private residence, then as a gentleman’s club and later as a cinema and dance hall, by 1980 Fairfax House stood empty.
Conscious of the historical importance of the building and the outstanding quality of its design, the Chairman of the York Civic Trust, John Shannon, wrote to the City Council asking if the Trust might take on the restoration of Fairfax House. The council agreed and in 1980 restoration work began.
The whole restoration project cost £750,000 (in 1980) and the house, with the Terry Collection of Georgian furniture, was opened to the public by the Duchess of Kent on 31 October 1984.
Since then, Fairfax House has been a hidden gem of a tourist attraction set in the heart of York.
It reveals the interesting stories of the houses’ many residents, domestic interiors in which these Georgians would have walked, the tastes and fashions of the day for architecture, interior decoration, food and furnishings, as well as the customs and habits of York’s wealthy gentry and aristocracy.
Fairfax House is home to the Terry’s collection of beautiful eighteenth-century Chippendale furniture, and the Grinling Gibbons King David Panel.
This top York attraction costs just £7.50 for an entire year, and is completely FREE to under 16s. There are a range of exhibitions throughout the year to keep you coming back. For up to date information, click here to visit the Fairfax House website.
The house is open every day 11am-4pm (last entry 3:30pm), expect Friday when the house is open by guided tour only. Please note the house is normally closed for a period of time in January for winter cleaning. Please check the Fairfax House website for any changes to opening times before visiting.