Fairfax House, York. Hand Picked Places to Visit in Yorkshire, England
Heritage Britain

Places to Visit in York, Yorkshire

Fairfax House, York

Fairfax House

Tel: +44(0)1904 655543
Fax: 01904 652262
Fairfax House online: information and bookings

Fairfax House is perhaps the finest 18th century house in the North of England. It was designed by John Carr of York, and typifies the best of mid-18th-century rococo decoration. Sadly, successive owners had allowed the house to decay to a state of near collapse by the early 1980s, when it was acquired by York Civic Trust with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Further grants enabled the Trust to restore the house to its former glory, and in October 1984 it was opened by the Duchess of Kent. The house is furnished with the late Noel Terry’s superb collection of Georgian furniture. Fairfax House continues to be supported by a variety of organisations, including the Friends of Fairfax House.

The Dining Room
The magnificent stucco ceiling took over 1,000 man hours to restore to its former glory, having been beneath a leaking cloakroom for several decades. The table settings are changed frequently. The table shown is set for the start of a meal which took place over 200 years ago.

The Fairfaxes received some distinguished guests in the room, among them being Laurence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy.

The Kitchen
The original kitchens were demolished, along with the servants’ hall and accommodation, in 1920 to make way for the cinema auditorium. This re-creation is in what was probably the rear parlour.
The food on display for most of the year is modelled to reproduce a meal given by the Viscount Fairfax on 15th April 1763. The scene shown here is part of our annual Keeping of Christmas exhibition which runs from 3rd December to 6th January.

The Red Saloon
In the eighteenth century, the saloon was used for dancing and entertainment. On 15th April 1763 over 200 people were entertained here as Viscount Fairfax celebrated his birthday and the completion of the house.
Here the room is shown decorated for our annual Keeping of Christmas exhibition which commences 3rd December and runs until 6th January.

Viscount Fairfax's Bedroom
This room formed the gents’ and ladies’ cloakrooms during the years that the house was a cinema and dancehall. Nevertheless, some features such as the carved door surround and some of the dado and skirting board survived. The fireplace was brought here from Methley Hall.

The viscount’s dressing room was situated in the extension at the back of the house demolished by the cinema company in 1920.

The Drawing Room
Friendship is the appropriate theme of the ceiling in this room, where family members would receive their closest friends and associates. More formal entertaining would be done next door in the saloon.

The walls are hung in a green cotton damask, using an artichoke pattern, which was popular in the eighteenth century.

Fairfax House, York

Historic House,

Weddings and Conferences
Fairfax House has established itself as a venue for exhibitions which bring the house to life in a very tangible way, with artifacts being displayed in the period rooms.

Each Christmas, we mark the festive season with our exhibition The Keeping of Christmas. Visitors can see eighteenth-century room decorations and table settings, and sample the atmosphere of a Georgian Christmas.

Opening Times
Monday - Thursday 11.00am to 5.00pm Friday Guided tours only, at 11.00am and 2.00pm Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm Sunday 1.30pm to 5.00pm Last admission is at 4.30pm. The museum is closed 24th, 25th, 26th, and 31st December, and 1st January 2003

In case of alteration, please check prices, opening times and any specific important information before booking or visiting

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