Yorkshire Museum

Yorkshire Museum in Museum Gardens

The Yorkshire Museum in York was one of the earliest purpose-built museums in the country.

It opened in 1830 as the new home for the collections of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society.  The first keeper was the famous geologist John Phillips.

The museum is built in the grounds of York's Abbey, St Mary's, on land given by royal grant in 1828.

It probably wouldn't be allowed today, but the museum was constructed over the remains of some of the Abbey buildings.  These can still be seen in the basement of the museum.

The Yorkshire Museum collections have remained true to the original interests of the founders - archaeology and science.  Indeed, when the museum was founded archaeology was considered a branch of science.  In 1831 the first ever meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science was held at the Museum.

The archaeology collection relates largely to York and North Yorkshire.  Since 1830 most of the significant objects found within the city become part of the museum's collection.

You can view a list of Yorkshire Museum related items within the History of York website by clicking here.

The Museum was closed for a major refurbishment from October 2009 to July 2010.  It re-opened to the public on Yorkshire Day, 1 August 2010.