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York is fortunate to have many tourist attractions, such as Fairfax House, Clifford’s Tower, Castle Museum, Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. Located right at the heart of the city centre, Fairfax House is close to where the River Foss joins with the River Ouse.

The Georgian townhouse is located in the heart of York, just a 3-minute walk from York Castle Museum, and even less time from the prominent Clifford’s Tower, the now-ruined keep of the medieval Norman castle. Built in the 1740s for a local merchant, the house was named in reference to Charles Gregory Fairfax, the 9th Viscount Fairfax of Emley, who bought the property in 1759 and acquired the services of famed architect John Carr to remodel the interiors to match his sumptuous lifestyle.

The eye-catching building is considered a classical masterpiece with incredibly well-maintained period interiors, showing the grandeur of 18th-century city life in York. There is a stunning collection of furniture, clocks, paintings and decorative arts, which help to bring the townhouse back to life, creating a special lived-in feeling as it would have been in its heyday.

The sizeable collection of art mainly dates from the 18th century and covers a range of portraits, conversation pieces and landscapes by a wide selection of artists. The art collection is designed to reflect the period of ownership by the Fairfax family during the mid-18th century and show the style of artwork that would have normally decorated a Georgian townhouse.

The majority of the collection was put together by Noel Terry, grandson of Joseph Terry, famous for the Terry’s Chocolate business. His interest was predominantly focussed on collecting English furniture from the 18th century but did extend to paintings from the same era.

As a beautiful townhouse filled with period furniture, Fairfax House is an ideal setting for many period dramas. In 2018 Victoria was filmed there for ITV, and the BBC’s Gentleman Jack also used as Fairfax as its primary filming location, using a number of the rooms and artwork to explore the life of Anne Lister, a landowner and diarist from Halifax.

There is an exciting programme of special events and changing exhibitions throughout the year, meaning that there is always a reason to bring visitors back to Fairfax House, time and time again.