This 18th-century townhouse offers a glimpse into the tastes, fashions, and daily life of Georgian-era nobility. It began as the home of Viscount Charles Gregory Fairfax and then enjoyed brief stints as a gentlemen’s club, cinema, and dancehall before being restored to its Georgian-era glory.
Take a 60-minute tour of Fairfax House—available on a first-come basis—or explore independently. Staff are on hand to offer information about the house, which is decorated with Georgian-era furniture and features rare Georgian clocks, silverware, and art that ranges from still-life paintings to portraits. Some history-focused sightseeing tours of York pass by Fairfax House, while holders of select York sightseeing passes enjoy free entry.
Things to Know Before You Go
- As one of England’s best-preserved Georgian townhouses, Fairfax House is a must-visit place for architecture and history buffs.
- Tickets are valid for an entire year, so you can visit again for no extra cost.
- Families can make use of child-friendly trail guides and coloring-in sheets.
- There are lockers on site, and strollers can be stored at reception.
- Fairfax House is not wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Fairfax House is situated on Castlegate in the historic center of York, less than 5 minutes’ walk from Clifford’s Tower and Jorvik Viking Centre. Several bus services stop at nearby Clifford Street.
When to Get There
Fairfax House is particularly atmospheric in the run-up to Christmas, when it hosts an annual festive-themed display. It typically closes during January for cleaning and conservation works. Tours typically take place on Mondays from late morning to early afternoon.
What to See Nearby
Fairfax House is in the heart of historic York; several of the city’s top historic attractions are within a 5-minute radius of the townhouse. The 13th-century Clifford’s Tower—all that remains of York Castle—and Jorvik Viking Center are only steps away. Nearby, you’ll also find York St. Mary’s, a medieval church that’s been transformed into a contemporary art space, and the York Dungeon, which features costumed actors and scary sets.