People and Communities directory - Yorkshire Museum Gardens (managed by York Museums Trust)

Location

Yorkshire Museum Gardens
Museum Street
Guildhall
YO1 7FR

Description

The ten-acre botanical Museum Gardens, around the Yorkshire Museum, stretch from the River Ouse up to the back of York Art Gallery, and from Marygate on one side to Museum Street on the other. The gardens are a popular picnic spot.

They were planted in the 1830s, when the Yorkshire Philosophical Society opened the museum.

The gardens are a listed Botanical Garden and contain many varieties of trees, deciduous and evergreen, native and exotic and were laid out to show off the buildings and plant specimens as they were introduced.

Look out for the Common Pear Tree, close to the river, which is thought to be the oldest of all the trees in the gardens. Or examine the trunk of the magnificent Oak Barked Beech planted in 1840s /1850s and see where the bark changes from smooth grey to rough bark.

Buildings within the Museum Gardens

St Mary's Abbey

The ruins of St Mary's Abbey, first built in 1088, are all that remains of one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England.

Abbey Walls and Gateway

The stone walls that surrounded the abbey were built in the 1260s and they remain the most complete set of abbey walls in the country.

Hospitium

The ground floor of this timber and stone building is medieval and would have served as a guest house or barn to the monastery.

St Leonard's Hospital

St Leonard's Hospital was the largest medieval hospital in England and cared for the ill and infirm of York.

Roman Fortress

When the Romans arrived in York in 70AD, they built this fortress to house the 5000 men of the VIth legion. The fortress was rebuilt in the 3rd or 4th centuries.

York Observatories

The York Observatory was built in 1832 and 1833 and is the oldest working observatory in Yorkshire.

For more information about this site see York Museum Trust.

Access

Open daily. Times vary throughout the year:

  • March to October: 7.30am to 8pm
  • October to November: 7.30am to 6.30pm
  • November to March: 7.30am to 5.30pm

There is easy access with mostly level paths.

For accessibility information see the DisabledGo website.

Travel and parking

Buses

For up-to-date information about local bus routes see the iTravel York website.

Parking

The nearest council car parks are:

Managed by

York Museums Trust

Also see

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