The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

Museum/Heritage/Gallery/Visitor Centre


The Bar Convent Living Heritage Exhibition shines a light on York’s best-kept secret – a stunning Georgian building beside the bar walls that has witnessed nearly 300 years of turbulent history.

From religious persecution, priest holes and angry mobs to the falling bombs of the Luftwaffe, the Bar Convent has remained a landmark in the city.

The all-new Exhibition, designed to a class-leading standard, tells the enthralling story of England’s oldest surviving Convent.

Visitors learn why secrecy was so important during the 18th century and how the sisters and priests had to use techniques more at home in the world on espionage.

They discover how the risk of death hung over the inhabitants of the Bar Convent - although it didn’t stop them working for the good of the community.

The Exhibition also tells the story of Mary Ward, the York woman who was a pioneer of girls’ education and whose influence is felt around the world even today. She risked her own life to build schools across Europe, at a time when few girls received any kind of education.

The Bar Convent prides itself on welcoming those of all faiths and none and the Exhibition is a great place for anyone with an interest in York’s long and varied history.

As part of our redevelopment we also have a brand new gift shop, as well as our excellent award-winning café.


Type Price
Adult £4.50
Child £2.00
Family £10.00
Concession £3.50

Opening Hours

Mon 09:00 17:00
Tue 09:00 17:00
Wed 09:00 17:00
Thu 09:00 17:00
Fri 09:00 17:00
Sat 09:00 17:00

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