Prepare to be whisked into a glamorous past at the Treasurer’s House. The two story, washed brick mansion set amid landscaped gardens was the first home to be donated to England’s National Trust and came complete with opulent furnishings handpicked by its final resident, wealthy industrialist collector Frank Green. Green originally purchased three buildings that comprise the present day manor in the late 1800s. Its rooms are a reimagining of history with fancy wallpapers, fine woods, ceramics, ivory works, and textiles. Artifacts span a 300-year period leading up to the late 1900s, a setting fitting enough to entertain royalty; King Edward VII visited prior to his reign.
Today one of the few remaining great houses in York, visitors can wander through 13 period rooms with a guide. Highlights include a scale model of a Napoleonic gunship, and ebony an ivory checkerboard from India, and a Queen Anne period bedspread. A second floor room has been transformed into a theater, which shows a looped film highlighting York’s iconic buildings and homes, many lost to time.
In the cellars, which can be toured separately from the house, learn about area archeology and the land’s 2,000-year history of occupation. Some claim to have seen Roman ghosts walking through its walls. Complete your tour on a garden path past the still-maintained apiary, or in the Below Stairs Café housed in the former servants’ quarters.
Treasurer’s House is adjacent to Dean’s Park and near York Minister and the Old Palace library. The attraction is open from 11am ‘til 4:30pm (final entry 30 minutes prior to closing) daily from March through October and keeps the same hours with limited open days in November and December. The gardens and café are free to enter, but there is an admission charge to enter the house: £7.70 adults ($9.60), £3.85 children ($4.80), and £19.25 ($23.95) for families of two adults and up to three children. Group discounts for parties of 15 or more are available, and during Heritage Days in September, admission is free for everyone. Cellar tours incur a small fee if you are not a member of the National Trust UK.