Fairfax House

Used as a cinema and ballroom from the 1920s, a pair of Georgian houses expertly restored in recent years.

Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN

Fairfax House
Free for members
  • Easily accessible without car
  • No parking
  • Pet friendly
  • Shop
  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.
Unlock the splendour within one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and let Fairfax House transport you to the glory days of city-living in 18th-century York.

Originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax and his daughter Anne, Fairfax House’s richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings make it a masterpiece of Georgian design and architecture.

Set in the heart of York, Fairfax House reveals the domestic interiors in which these Georgians would have walked, the tastes and fashions of the day for architecture, interior decoration, food and furnishings, as well as the customs and habits of York’s wealthy gentry and aristocracy.

Opening Times


22 January – 31 December (excluding Christmas).

Opening times are Saturday – Thursday, 11-4pm (last admission 3.30pm). We also run guided tours on Fridays at 11am and 2pm.

Pre-booking is available, however walk-ins are welcome. We recommend pre-booking for guided tours as they fill up quickly and spaces are limited.

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times


Historic Houses members visit for free. To book members should select the free ‘Affiliate Schemes’ ticket option on Art Tickets (accessible via a link on our website). Membership cards should be shown on arrival.

Adult: £7.50
Concession: £6.00 (over 60s and students)
Children: £3.00 (6-16), includes the Townhouse Mouse Trail or Townhouse Mouse Quest
Family ticket (2 adults, 3 children): £17.50

Group Visits

If you are looking for a special experience for a group, large or small, historic ‘hidden gem’ Fairfax House in the heart of York offers something of interest for all your party.

Our range of group tours bring this superb townhouse to life, exploring its fascinating history and 18th-century collections which include some of the best examples English cabinet-making and Chippendale furniture.

Whether you want a daytime guided tour or private evening visit, our team of experienced guides will help you.

Educational Visits

Fairfax House welcomes visits from schools.

Education visits will transport you back in time to the 18TH century and reveal how Georgian families lived.

We explore what it was like to live in a Georgian house without electricity and modern conveniences, the contrast between the world of comfort and privilege ‘above stairs’ and the hard-working lives of the servants ‘below stairs’, the types of food that people ate and the differences between the 18th century and today.

We aim to promote understanding of the past and the enjoyment of Fairfax House as a place of historic interest. Trips must be booked in advance and we encourage you to contact us to discuss the particular requirements of your school or college.

  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Fairfax House: In Pictures

Evoking a life of grandeur

Fairfax House was a place where the winter season could be enjoyed, and with it, all the entertainments and social engagements that this centre for ‘polite society’ had to offer. A beautiful collection of furniture brings the house alive and creates a special feeling of warmth.

It evokes a life once lived in comfort and grandeur, vividly recalling a lost world of townhouse-living in the 1760s.

Where stories unfold

Fairfax House opens a door to the world of Georgian city life: dissolute pleasures, sumptuous entertainments, extravagant food and drink and resplendent townhouse interiors.

Candle blown at Fairfax House

Looking to visit Fairfax House?

Fairfax House is open to the public between January and December annually, excluding the Christmas. Their opening times are Saturday – Thursday, 11-4pm (last admission 3.30pm), and they also run guided tours on Fridays at 11am and 2pm. See our Opening Times tab above.

If you’re interested in joining Historic Houses as a member, you can find out more about membership below. Members enjoy free access to almost three hundred independently owned historic houses across the UK for free using their membership card, as well as a quarterly magazine and monthly online lectures about the houses.

Why become a Historic Houses member?

Other houses members can visit nearby

Free for members

Brockfield Hall

Warthill, York, North Yorkshire, YO19 5XJ

Sutton Park in York
Free for members

Sutton Park

Sutton-on-the-Forest, York, YO61 1DP

Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire
Free for members

Allerton Castle

Allerton Park, near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 0SE

Become a Historic Houses member

Explore the nation’s heritage from just £59 per year.

Hundreds of the most beautiful historic houses, castles, and gardens across Britain offer our members free entry.

Receive a quarterly magazine exploring the architecture, collections, and family histories of our grandest and oldest homes, and get an insight into what it takes to keep them standing today.

Enjoy monthly online lectures about the houses and their extraordinary history, presented by experts including house owners, curators and guest lecturers.

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Fairfax House wood carving of angels

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