York’s Mansion House was built to function as the home for the Lord Mayor of York during his or her year of office. It has functioned as such since 1726, earlier than London’s Mansion House. In St Helen’s Square at the heart of York, it is alongside York’s medieval Guildhall and City Council Offices
In the eighties and nineties the building had been looking very ‘tired’ and was little used by the City of York Council; access to the public had become almost non-existent. With this in mind, the Trust agreed to restore the public rooms to their former glory, provided that more regular access was offered and a proper management plan created to preserve the building.
Work started in 1998 with all the main rooms redecorated to some of their original colours. New carpets, chandeliers and sconces were made to complement the rooms and the large full-length portraits in the State Room of Lord Mayors and Kings were also restored. In all some £250,0000 was raised by the Trust, some of it from former Lord Mayors and their descendants.
An excellent management structure is now in place and the House is heavily used for civic and other public events. Regular tours and ‘open house’ are offered to residents and visitors to York, as can be seen by clicking on the link below to the Mansion House.