Head to the basement at Treasurer’s House
The cellars of Treasurer’s House are home to one of York’s most famous ghost sightings – that of Roman centurions in the 1950s. Special tours run on selected days, and whilst there's no need to book, places on tours are limited - read on for more details.
The road below our feet
Treasurer’s House sits above a Roman road, the cellars are part excavated but the actual road sits a few feet below the basement of the house.
What can you see?
Visitors to the house or Below Stairs Café are welcome to make a stop in the exhibition room to find out a little more about York’s most famous ghost story. Enjoy a short video with the eyewitness, Harry Martindale, as he describes his experience that fateful day. He recounts what he saw and heard, and how the sighting stayed with him throughout his life.
" I don't know about ghosts - you know, I had never seen a ghost before that day, and I've never seen one since. But I do know what I saw that day in the cellar."
Harry’s story makes for a riveting tale, set to turn even hard and fast sceptics into believers. Judge for yourself.
Central to the room is a large model showing Roman York. See encampments and roads in the context of modern day York and how the city has evolved and changed.
Treasurer's House stands right behind York Minster on the line of the Roman road (Via Decumana) which now lies about three metres below today’s level. The road dates to around 106 AD and is one of the earliest to be paved within the Roman Fortress of Eboracum. The road was excavated in the 1950s when Harry Martindale was working in the cellar. The base of an original Roman column can be seen during guided cellar tours.
The model of the Fortress shows other Roman landmarks. The excavated Porta Pricipalis Dextra (the Roman gateway which is directly below Bootham Bar) and the three other gateways plus the projected position of the Amphitheatre of Eboracum can easily be located. The model clearly shows how York Minster has been superimposed over the Fortress buildings including the Roman headquarters (the Principia), the Barracks of the legionaries and the villas of the officers.
Grab a hard hat for a special tour of the cellar
On selected days, tours guides will set the scene and carefully take you down to the place of the ghostly sighting. Telling you much more about Harry’s experience and other parts of York’s Roman history and maybe some more about the weird goings on at Treasurer’s House.
" The ghost tour was really great! Many ghost tours are staged or cliche but this one was authentic. You aren't looking for ghosts but instead venture into a basement that has had numerous sightings..."
Cellar tour dates
Tours will run on selected days in November and selected weekdays in December. Please call ahead to check on the day if you are planning a visit especially for a tour: 01904 624247.
Tickets to the house are not needed. Tours cost £4 per adult and £3.50 per child and are suitable for 5 yrs+.
Places are limited and fill up on a first come basis so come along early, grab your ticket and enjoy the period rooms in the house or treats in the below stairs café ahead of your tour time.
While you're here, climb the stairs to the servants' quarters for a rooftop experience...