The York Castle Museum was founded by Dr John Kirk, a doctor from Pickering, North Yorkshire, and houses his extraordinary collection of social history objects reflecting everyday life in the county. One of its renowned displays is the reconstructed Victorian street, Kirkgate, that has been hugely influential in museum displays worldwide. The museum is housed in a former debtors’ prison and an adjoining former women’s prison, both of which are Grade I listed. The museum’s name comes from the fact it stands on the site of the former York Castle.
Travel by public transport
Travel by taxi
Cars with a disabled parking permit can park for up to three hours on the road outside the main entrance to the museum.
The nearest car park is the Castle car park next to Clifford’s Tower. For more car parking information visitwww.yorklive.info.
York Castle Museum takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to walk to from York Railway Station – follow the green pedestrian signs to the ‘Castle Area’.
You might also want to make use of the city’s park and ride service. There are 7 different services that run regularly throughout the day from different areas. The buses are moslty single deckers with space for one wheelchair. For more information visit: https://www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride
Path to main entrance
Getting around inside
Visual Impairment - General Information
Debtors Prison Lift
Ticket/ information desk
Things to See and Do
Female Prison building
Access to the Female Pison is restricted due to the historic nature of the building and its listing grade. There is no lift to access the top floors. There are six flights of stairs of varying sizes. The largest is the first flight you come to and has 20 steps. All flights of stairs have handrails and places to rest at the top or bottom. Wheelchairs are not allowed upstairs, however walkers are fine to be taken up. The ground floor of the Female Prison is completley accessible, and is accessed by a wide ramp and a large door.
Castle Museum Shop
The shop is located in the Reception Area. It is fully accessable but care would be advised when using a mobility scooter inbetween the shop displays as these are narrower in parts.
The Debtors Prison side of the museum is fully accessable via a lift to the upper galleries. The visit route is slightly different for people with reduced mobility depending on circumstances. For example there is a limit of two wheelchairs or mobility scooters that are allowed on the upper gallery of World War One. However there is a limit of six on the ground floor which means if there is no space on the upper floors, the ground floor can be visited first. There are staff on hand to help. Access on World War One is good, with wide doors and mostly open corridors. The trench is slightly narrower and when returning in the lift assistance may be required for directions. Access on the ground floor in the Cells is also good. With wide corridors. Some of doors are too narrow for a wheelchair due to the historic nature of the prison building. For people who are visually impaired the light levels on parts of the ground floor are low and the floor in the Cells can be slightly uneven.
Getting around outside
Exercise Yard and Mill Area
The main doors in the exersise yard open towards you so they need to be pulled. There are two access doors one form the cells out into the excersise yard and one from the yard into the Sixties. Both doors are heavy. The width of the door opening is 83cm (2ft 9in). The Mill Area is accessed easily by ramps both to get to it and to get down to the bottom of the mill building.
Customer care support
Walking sticks are available to borrow free of charge as well as the wheelchairs. A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog and there is an assistance dog toilet area onsite, this is located in the grounds surrounding the venue. We also provide a specially designed Autism Guide for the musem and can provide break out or safe quiet spaces if they are required.
There is no facility to charge a mobility scooter onsite. However Shop Mobility is 0.2 miles away and they do offer the facility to recharge mobility scooters. They do also offer hire of various accessabilty items for a low price.
Emergency evacuation procedures
In the event of an emergency evacuation members of staff will be on hand to help get people out safely.
Customer care support
Low Sensory Experiences once every three months where light levels are static, sounds and smells are turned off for the first hour and a half of our opening times.