Castle Museum

Now to a more interesting Museum than the Jorvik Museum. The Castle Museum offers a splendid impression of the English way of life during the last centuries. The Museum of “everyday life” was founded by Dr. John Kirk, a country doctor working in North Yorkshire from the 1890’s. As he went about his daily house calls, Dr. Kirk saw a way of life changing. He realised the need to collect objects of everyday life before they were lost forever. Some items he accepted in payment for medical treatment, others were gifts or purchases. In 1935 he gave his collection to the City of York and supervised the making of the first displays which opened in 1938.

Kirkgate is the oldest recreated street in any museum and was designed and named after Dr. Kirk. We find a bookseller, a general store and a post office, an apothecary and a watchman’s shelter. In the middle of Kirkgate is a Hansom Cab. In Victorian times these cabs were used as taxis for those who could afford the luxury of riding rather than walking. The cab is named after its inventor, Joseph Hansom, a York Architect. The 1823 Leeds and Yorkshire fire engine now stands in the fire station.

On the second floor of the museum after the Kirk Gallery: an exposition called “Every home should have one”, which shows the technical development in private houses. An old fridge – a 1950’s hearth. Home entertainment has not been left behind in the rapid changes of the 20th century. The displays show radios, gramophones and televisions. Vacuums from the 1900’s onward are also displayed along with washing machines.

“Thornley Park” recreates a scene of the early 1900s. The park was a place for rest and recreation for all ages and classes of people.

The period rooms: first: a living room from the 1950’s, complete with a new television set, of a comfortable working class family at the time of the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.

The elegant Georgian dining room of a fashionable city family of the late 18th century. Furniture designers, Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite created new elegance in the home.

The Moorland Cottage is typical of the main room, often the only room, of a home in the north east of Yorkshire. The fire was the centre of family activity.

The Victorian Parlour is typical of the best room of an 1870’s middle class town family. The room was a show piece for family treasures of fine china and coloured glass, as well as patchwork cushions.

Die Fotos zur Reise finden Sie in meiner Gallery


house call = Hausbesuch (Arzt)

to supervise = überwachen

general store = Gemischtwarenhandlung (veralt.)

apothecary = Apotheke (veralt.)

shelter = Häuschen

cab = [Pferde]droschke

fire-engine = Löschfahrzeug

hearth = Herd

vacuum (coll.: vacuum cleaner) = Sauger (ugs.)

period rooms = Zimmer im Stil ihrer Zeit

china = Porzellan

cushion Kissen