York Museums Trust


Museum Mysteries – Unusual Objects from the York Castle Museum Collection

York Castle Museum opened on 23 April 1938 thanks to the passion of a local doctor from Pickering called John Lamplugh Kirk. Dr Kirk collected everyday objects which he thought would become obsolete or unwanted in the future. We’re revealing some of these finds as part of our 80th birthday celebrations. Click on the images below …

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Dr Kirk the Collector – Celebrating 80 Years of York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum was created thanks to the vision of a Pickering doctor called John Lamplugh Kirk. Dr Kirk wanted to create a museum that would transport people back in time featuring objects from local communities that reflected everyday life in the past. As part of our 80th anniversary, we’re sharing some of the …

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Celebrating 80 Years of York Castle Museum – Violet Rodgers, Our First Female Curator

Dr John Lamplugh Kirk was a doctor from Pickering and an avid collector of ‘bygones’. His collection was opened as York Castle Museum 80 years ago on 23 April 1938. Over 32 million people have since visited. Dr Kirk wanted the focus of his museum to be on the objects shown in their original context, and the museum became …

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Behind the Scenes at York Castle Museum for our 80th Anniversary Celebrations

York Castle Museum celebrates its 80th anniversary this month, having opened to the public on 23 April 1938. The museum is perhaps most famous for Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street which transports visitors back in time. Find out more about the man behind the museum and its creation in this blog entry. Dr John Lamplugh Kirk was …

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The Jacobite Rebellion and the Fate of Elizabeth Grant – by Steve Pickard, York Castle Museum Volunteer

Nearly 300 years ago this month, a seamstress called Elizabeth Grant was one of 40 prisoners taken from York Prison to Liverpool, where they would sent to Antigua as indentured servants. Discover more about her life and fate in this blog entry by our volunteer, Steve Pickard. On 17 December 1745, the Jacobite Army under Charles Edward Stuart (the …

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Hidden Histories in our Museum Collection – by York Castle Museum’s Social History Curatorial Team

Katie Brown (Assistant Curator of History) and Helen Thornton (Documentation Assistant) from York Castle Museum’s Curatorial Team have written a blog entry on some of our hidden histories. Read on to discover some of the experiences of people in minority or historically disempowered and discriminated-against groups. Their stories have often gone unrecorded or unrecognised …

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Female Catholic Recusants at York Prison – by Megan Kilvington, York Castle Museum Volunteer

York Castle Museum volunteer Megan Kilvington is part of a research team investigating different rebel groups that were held in York Prison. Megan has been looking into female Catholic recusants – find out more in this blog entry. During the Elizabethan period, the Statute of Praemunire was brought back into focus; a law which prohibited individuals …

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Postcards from the Past – by Alan Milner, Visitor Experience Team Member at York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum first opened to the public 80 years ago on 23 April 1938. The museum was founded by Dr John Kirk, a doctor from Pickering in North Yorkshire. He was fascinated by history and vanishing ways of life and began collecting objects that were becoming rare or obsolete. These ‘bygones’ formed the museum’s collection. Visitor …

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York Castle and the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion – by Steve Pickard, York Castle Museum Volunteer

York Castle Museum Volunteer Steve Pickard is one of five volunteers who have been researching into the role that York Castle has played throughout history. Steve’s brief was all about the Jacobite period – find out what he discovered in this blog entry. A Jacobite was a supporter of the exiled royal house of the …

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Silk, Sleeves, and Sweat: Part 3 – by Dr M Faye Prior, Collections Facilitator (History) at York Castle Museum

Welcome to the third and final entry in our mini-series about some of the latest additions to our collection of 18th-century menswear here at York Castle Museum. In this post you’ll find out about a surprisingly sparkly two piece suit from the 1780s – take a look at the photos in the gallery at the …

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