In 1759, Charles, Viscount Fairfax of Emley, purchased a house and land at Castlegate, overlooking the River Ouse, for his daughter, Anne, the sole survivor of his nine children. The gift was made to compensate Anne for her disappointment in marriage: at the eleventh hour, when the bridal parties were already assembling in London, he stopped her marriage to William Constable of Burton Constable, on the grounds that the groom was not assiduous enough in his attendance at weekday Mass (Fairfax himself was a devout Catholic). He poured a fortune into designing a fine new town house where the family could entertain at the hub of York society – Fairfax House. The architect of his day, John Carr, was involved in the elegant interiors. The house changed hands many times, and by 1919 it was being used as a dance hall and cinema. The dilapidated building was purchased by the York Civic Trust in 1981 and restored to its full Georgian glory, the perfect home for the Noel Terry collection of 18th-century furnishings and fine art.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
Assist dogs allowed
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking nearby
- Opening Times: Open 7 Feb-Dec, Mon guided tours only 11 & 2, Tue-Sat & BHs 10-5, Sun 11-4. Closed 24-26 Dec
Also in the area
About the area
Discover North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.
The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.
York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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