Yorkshire Musem, Gardens, Multangular Tower, St. Leonard's Hospital, St. Mary's Abbey, Observatory etc., York
St Marys is a ruined benedictine abbey,in York Museum Gardens.. When dissolution of the Abbey came in 1539 ,it was the largest and richest Abbey. William Thornton was the last Abbot. The Abbey has been the setting backdrop to York Mystery Plays,in the openair,, for several years. Dame Judy Dench played in the Mystery Plays revival in three productions in the1950s.
In the middle of the Museum gardens,this is a small observatory run by volunteers. They open it to the public on irregular hours. Inside is the Thomas Cooke telescope. The observatory was built 1831-33 with a coned roof. It is the oldest working observatory in Yorkshire.
The Multangular tower is the west corner of the roman fort of Eboracum, the roman name for York .The roman walls continues from the tower behind the Library building.The romans arrived in AD71 when 5000 men of the ninth legion marched from Lincoln and set up camp , so EBORACUM was born . They stayed for 300 years. 4 Emperors came to York Constantine was born in York in 272AD. Emperor Septimius Severus ruled the entire roman empire from York from AD 208 to AD211.
The Museum Gardens is a small park in the centre of York, at the side of the river Ouse. In it are many historic places, including the ruins St Leonards Hospice, the ruins of St Marys Abbey,the Yorkshire Museum, the York Observatory, the roman Multangular tower,and the Hospitium. The Museum Gardens are botanic gardens with approximately 4500 plants and trees.over 10 acres. The gardens were created in the 1830s by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society along with the Yorkshire Museum. The gardens are home to semi-tame grey squirrels.some will take food from your hand.
While York Minster survived the reformation, all that is left of the once great Abbey of St. Mary's are ruins. It was once one of the richest, most powerful abbeys in England, so famous that it made it into the original legend of Robin Hood. Unfortunately it didn't escape the notice of King Henry's VIII's auditors. He took its rich lands, closed down the abbey, and shortly after it was destroyed. Today the abbey's ruins lie in the gardens of the Yorkshire Museum, near to the cathedral which survives it.
The Museum Gardens were another of my very favourite places in the city. They are a wonderful area stretching from the river to the Yorkshire Museum, and featuring some interesting sights such as St Mary's Abbey, the Hospitium and St Leonard's Hospital. But apart from these sights, they are just a perfect area to relax. I loved coming here in the evening after a day of walking around and sightseeing, and to just sit down on one of the benches and wind down while enjoying the atmosphere. There are many wonderful trees and flowers, and you can also watch countless of squirrels hurrying along and looking for food.
The Museum Gardens are a place that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. As they are located on the way from the train station to the city, they are even a perfect stop after a day trip by train, and I always liked to take in a little of York's atmosphere before walking back to my accommodation.
Close to the Yorkshire Museum building, there are the ruins of an old abbey. Unfortunately, I could not really see them, because when I visited York the ruins were covered by a large stage construction, erected for the Yorkshire Mystery Play, which is an annual event taking place every summer. Thus, not much of the abbey was visible, basically just the entrance. Through the windows of the basement of the Yorkshire Museum it was possible to see another area of the abbey, but rather an unpretentious one with only a few smaller stones.
The first abbey in this location was founded in 1055, and in the following decades and centuries it changed hands several times. The abbey was totally rebuilt in the second half of the 13th century and it became one of the richest abbeys in Northern England, but during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry XIII it was dissolved and destroyed.
Apart from the ruins in the gardens, there are some other remains you can see around York: The Hospitium, that is located in the gardens, too, and the King's Manor at Exhibition Square which once was the abbot's house. Along Bootham, you can also see part of the old walls that once encircled the whole abbey. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of it, although I walked along every day.
I had seen the grand looking building of the Yorkshire Museum from the outside quite often before I actually visited the museum itself, and it lived up to my expectations! Moreover, 2012 was a special year for a visit, as the museum celebrated "1212 - The making of York", in celebration of the thousand year old history of the city.
When you enter, you first encounter displays about Yorkshire's Roman history, showing many Roman artifacts. These include tomb stones, everyday articles, a Roman mosaic floor, as well as a statue of the Roman god Mars, according to the museum "the finest Roman statue in Britain". This gallery is a partnership gallery of the British Museum.
You then walk down to the basement where the Medieval galleries are located. Here you can see quite a lot of things connected to the Minster and other churches in York, as well as displays connected to Medieval kings and queens. There are also some wonderful Anglo Scandinavian gold items and weapons.
In addition to these historical collections there are geological and biological galleries, but I mostly skipped these.
I could not at all decide which pictures to include in this tip and which not, so in the end I created a separate travelogue - please click here to see my favourite displays of the museum!
Admission fee: Adults £7,50, concession £6,50, children under 16 free
Opening times: 10.00am to 05.00pm daily
The Multangular Tower is an ancient tower located in the beautiful Museum Gardens. It is very old and was one of the places I liked the most in York.
It was built in Roman times, probably by the Emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century A.D., although it might also be the case that the tower was added to the walls later under Constantine. At that time, it was part of a great Roman fortress, one of the two big corner towers. After the Romans had left, the tower was still used and later, in the Middle Ages, it was enlarged. You can clearly see where the Roman stones end and the medieval building begins (see picture 4). I found this totally fascinating!
As I said, I like this tower very much - you can sit on the bench at its foot, and also walk around and have a look inside. Parts of the back wall are missing and you can see the interior of the tower, and inspect its interesting walls.
We had hung around in Yorkshire Museum's Gardens whilst waiting for our boat cruise. We didn't go into the musuem but used our waiting time to take the traditional VT photos as shown. On a future York visit I would love to visit the museum and explore the gardens thorough. Here is the museum's website for further information.
Relaxing, calm, beautiful. These adjectives fit perfectly to this small but green and atmospheric preface to York. Placed in the route from the railway station, it may mean the first visit point or the last one at the end of a tiring day. It's worthy.
Crossing Lendal Bridge, full of bustling activity with people going here and there and entering this calmed space, the air only filled with the sound of moving leaves or birds singing is shocking. For one side remains of the ancient stoned wall or the neoclassic-like building of Yorkshire Museum. In the other side the remains of St. Mary's Abbey at hands, the old St. Olave's church, the marvellously restored medieval Hospitium or the astronomcal observatory while in the middle and around, green grass and big trees welcome you and a small squirel eats carefully from your hand. Very nice, really.
This place seems to have only recently reopened before our visit in November 2010 after a major refurb. I've no idea what it was like before but the museum now is pretty impressive. It's not a huge place but it will still take a couple of hours minimum to get round it all. The Roman and medieval history sections were particularly interesting.
I love Science Museums the MOST! I love historical museums too. This place is both. I was in heaven. Its next to the ruins of St. Mary Abby, take a bit of time to enjoy it and the gardens. That part is free to everyone. But don't miss the museum. It wasn't an expensive museum to visit (7 pounds). It has a whole range of exhibits.
It is located within 10 acres of Museum Gardens. It contains Roman, Anglo Saxon and Viking art galleries , as well as the £2.5 million Middleham Jewel, a gold amulet engraved with the Trinity and the nativity, and holding an enormous sapphire.
In the museum gardens, you will find peacocks wandering among the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, once the most influential Benedictine monastery in northern England. In the basement of the Yorkshire Museum there is an exhibition on what abbey life was like.
On the grounds of the Yorkshire Museum, these gardens are open to the public even at times when the museum is closed. The most impressive bits are the ruins of the former St. Mary’s abbey. They are the remains of a monastery which was founded in 1088 but met the fate of most medieval monasteries in England: Dissolved by Henry VIII. OK, they are not as impressive as Fountains abbey which is just a daytrip away, but still worth a visit and for free. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, the gardens also have a couple of sculptures, the remain of a roman fortress and a medieval building.
Entry to the gardens is free, check the museum site for the opening times.