Rooftops and servants' quarters at Treasurer's House

View from up high looking towards walls over gardens and rooftops

Climb up to the highest points of Treasurer’s House with a spectacular view over towards York walls and imagine how servant life might have been.

With its varied floors and stairs, there are so many parts of Treasurer’s House to explore. Alongside tours to the basement and cellar for a spot of ghost hunting, you can head up to the attics.

How the servants lived

It’s a tour for your imagination where your guide will show you the relatively plush dwellings that male and female servants had…there is plumbing and heating. Look at the remaining hints of what the space was used for and who it might have belonged to with remnants of a past history like servant bells. 

What to expect

The attic spaces are as they were left and there’s a real feeling of abandonment. Understanding the hierarchy that different level of service staff had helps to unpick what the different parts mean – right down to where your hook for your coat and hat is placed.

Frank and his staff in the garden from around the 1890s
Black and white image of various staff members in front of the house
Frank and his staff in the garden from around the 1890s

Grab a hard hat

The tour has low head heights, steps and some stepping over door frames. Taller visitors may have to bend and stoop in places – hence the hard hat if you forget to duck. As you clamber along, it’s worth considering the west side of the house didn’t have access from the attics the servants could use. So if called from the first floor on the west side, the ‘commute’ involved scrambling over the roof, down the east side stairs, across the ground floor and up the west side house stairs. Phew, and then no doubt back again.

Up on the roof

There’s a pause outside with a superb view over the nearby buildings, rooftops, gardens and onto York walls. The fainthearted might not like to get too close to the edge as you make your way between the male and female sides of the attics. However it’s worth the effort, especially if you’re a fan of architecture, with this tour offering the best views and appreciation of the brickwork and gable ends. There are also unrivalled views of York Minster – imagine living up in the rooftops with little free time to appreciate the views. 

You might not want to get too close to the edge
Narrow passageway leading to a small door
You might not want to get too close to the edge

Attic tour days

Tours will run on selected days April - October 2020. 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+.

Tie in your visit with a tour of the cellars to hear more about the ghostly sighting below stairs...