Our favourite parts of Treasurer's House

Women looking at a portrait of two girls on a wall

A visit to Treasurer’s House feels like being let into a very good secret. So who better to share the secrets than the people who see it every day?

A trip to the ancient walled city of York, where Romans and Vikings once trod, promises (as you might expect) many delights. So many in fact it may be difficult for a visitor to know where to start. Treasurer's House is firmly rooted in the city’s rich historical past and yet...with a notable past of its own.

As you arrive…

David, the General Manager loves its location. He enjoys the approach through Dean’s Park and see the gables of the house from a far. And with the Minster on the right it reminds him what a lovely part of the country York is.

The house and its contents were left to the National Trust in 1930 – the donation from the intriguing Frank Green was in fact the first ever historic house to be acquired by the Trust complete with its contents. That there were very specific instructions stipulating exactly how those contents should be displayed is just one of many clues pointing towards the eccentricities of its previous owner and subsequently the house itself. 

In the garden…

Upon visiting Treasurer’s House you will be greeted by a beautiful tranquil garden. Three times gold award winner in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, this special garden is free to enter and gives visitors unparalleled views onto the Minster. Upon closer inspection you’ll discover ancient artefacts from the Minster’s own stone yard nestled amongst the flowerbeds. There’s nobody better to sum up what you might expect from the garden than Steve who looks after it:

" As you open the garden door from the house you get a fantastic view of York Minster along the avenue of plane trees when they’re without leaves. From July onwards you then get dappled sunlight through the trees to keep you cool on hot summer days."
- Steve, Gardener

Heading inside…

Further exploration of the house reveals more about the place and you’ll probably discover you have your favourite part. Treasurer’s House is actually made up of three separate dwellings. Frank Green must have had real vision to create the property that stands before us today (whilst imagining the patience and skill required by his architect to undertake such a feat!)

A little about the collection…

Tom, the House Steward knows many of the antiques in great detail as it is part of his work to help look after them. His favourite is the assortment of intricately designed eighteenth-century drinking glasses housed between the King’s Room and South Dressing Room. Knowing Frank’s penchant for entertaining, it’s fun to imagine who might have drunk from them.

Alice heads up the friendly team who greet all visitors on their arrival and her favourite part of Treasurer's House is the French boulle clock in Princess Victoria’s room. Not only is it pretty to look at, but she likes the way the musical and gentle chime changes through the hour.

Many paintings have their own tales to tell, each revealing something new from the past. Anne, Head of Site, describes the children depicted in the Dutch oil painting hanging in the Court Room who appear to be wearing funny shaped caps. Not because their heads are a funny shape, moreover because their parents would stuff their bonnets with straw in order to protect their fragile heads from a fall. 

" When infant mortality was high, this painting for me shows a lot of love, care and protection of the children. "
- Anne, Head of Site

Did Frank Green create a home or a museum? Either way it’s a living, breathing curiosity, right in the centre of York. Come and explore for yourself and see what your favourite part of Treasurer’s House is.