Explore the Townhouse

Glorious architecture, resplendent interiors, refined decoration… explore the finest Georgian townhouse in England

Fairfax House is a triumph of Georgian design. Bought by Charles Gregory, the ninth Viscount Fairfax of Emley, for £2000 in 1759, he employed master architect John Carr of York to transform the existing building into a magnificent and fashionable townhouse. Lord Fairfax gifted the house to his sole surviving child making Anne Fairfax a property-owning woman in her own right.

Here both Anne and her Father spent the winter season. Standing on the thriving street of Castlegate, the main thoroughfare to York Castle, and sitting on the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss, Fairfax House was at the very centre of York’s polite society and perfectly positioned as a base from which to enjoy York’s burgeoning city-life and social scene.

The interiors that Carr imagined, and his team of craftsmen created, are still in existence today painstakingly restored in the 1980s by York Civic Trust. Behind its formal classical façade, this elegant townhouse yields period rooms that evoke and transport you back to eighteenth-century life.

Come and discover this townhouse’s fascinating history spanning 250 years, and unlock stories of its inhabitants above and below stairs, Georgian city-living, extravagant parties, balls and entertaining, its hidden secrets and story of Catholic recusancy, and its on-going life and radical transformation from elegant residence to 20th century cinema … The very walls of Fairfax House have much to tell.