Fairfax House’s brand new exhibition opens on 14th May and runs until 13th November 2022.

York Civic Trust’s Georgian townhouse museum, Fairfax House, is proud to launch its summer exhibition that tells the story of Ann Fairfax – this time, through her own words.

The Honourable Ann Fairfax was a truly remarkable woman: resilient, compassionate and devout. Yet history has not been kind to her. The story of her life has been obscured, and worse dismissed as insignificant, because of her gender, her status as a ‘mere spinster’, and assumptions of her incompetence based on her mental health. 

Drawing on new research and rich archival documents, the exhibition brings to life the tumultuous events which impacted Ann following the death of her father in 1772.

As you journey though Fairfax House’s historic interiors you will meet a cast of characters who played an influential role, for good and bad, in Ann’s life. People like Nathaniel Pigott, her cousin, who prayed on Ann and manipulated her into signing away control of her estates, or Father Bolton who valiantly sought to protect Ann and yet was spitefully punished by her detractors with imprisonment and a charge of Treason.  

Ann’s cousin, Nathaniel Pigott, who you’ll meet in the exhibition.

Through interactive storytelling, audio and innovative new interpretation you will come face to face with Ann’s friends and foes, uncovering the world she inhabited. A world where being a single woman was seen as a curse, where displays of emotion were deemed irrational and where being an heiress in charge of her own estates was seen as an impossibility.  

Fairfax house is open Saturday-Thursday 11am-4pm (last entry 3:30pm), and open on Friday for guided tours at 11am and 2pm. You can find out more about Fairfax House by clicking here.