Seen as it was a nice day and Jack and I are National Trust members, we walked into York city centre and visited the Treasurer’s House. The building was originally built for Treasurers of York Minster and then was owned by a wealthy collector until 1930. Then he kindly gave it to the National Trust as he moved down to Somerset.
The Treasurer’s House is located just behind York Minster. It is owned by the National Trust so it is free to enter for members. It is around £9 for an adults admission and around £4 for a child.
Today was its first day open after it has been closed for the winter. As you walk up to the house, the gardens are so well looked after and are pristine. The Treasurer’s House is deemed to be one of the most haunted houses in York. This was after the last owner, Frank Green, before he gave it to the National Trust, said he’d haunt the house if his furniture was moved!
We walked into the house and we went into the first room on the left. I can’t remember what the room was called but the walls were painted bright green. The tour guide said that it was of no significance that the last owner’s last name was Green. In this room, there were medieval chairs which looked back into the front garden of the house.
We moved onto the ‘William and Mary staircase’. This staircase had four large paintings of some people who I am guessing were of wealth. One thing the brilliant guides were saying was that Frank Green bought the items in his house for the way they looked, not for who they were. So, they are still figuring out who and how old they are to this day.
In the ‘Court Room’, receiving its name as it looks out onto the courtyard, there was an intriguing three-decked battleship. This was one of the best things to see in the house. It was made by French prisoners, down in the Portsmouth area, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. It is made out of animal bone and whale bone, but the attention to detail is incredible! They had to remaster the flags and the string work holding the masts up, but the original was supposedly made out of hair. Captains would pay the prisoners to make models of their ships. This would earn the prisoners money to get better food to eat. Green had this cabinet made to protect this beautiful piece of art, but nobody knows that ship they had recreated.
Also in the Court Room is a portrait of two sisters. It has been found to be a painting by a Dutch artist. The tour guide told Jack and I that the style of painting is a little different. The artist painted the bodies and the hats first, and then paints the faces in. It looks so peculiar, and I can’t say the children look happy!
Heading upstairs, you go into what is called the Tapestry Room. This room has two large pieces of tapestry hanging on the walls. In this room, there is one of the earliest maps of York. It can be recognised as some of the street names are still the same and you can see the streets next to the river.
Also in the Treasurer’s House, there were a couple of royal visits. Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited as then Prince and Princess of Wales, alongside their daughter Princess Victoria. This was how three of the rooms were named, the King’s room, Queen’s room and Princess Victoria’s room. All of these rooms had unique colours and designs. Princess Victoria’s room was green with her lozenge coat of arms above the bed. It was not a shield as she was not married at the time. Then in the Queen’s room, there were a beautiful pair of ebony and brass dressers. In the King’s room, I cannot say I like the décor or the feel of this room. This was where Frank Green slept when he stayed at the house but there was a cold feeling in this room. There is a bedspread from the Queen Anne period, with a pattern of butterflies and insects on. This bedspread is really delicate to light and temperature so it has to be looked after very carefully.
Finally, downstairs near the café area, there is a cellar which is supposedly haunted. There was a man many years ago who was working down in the cellar and he heard some strange noises. Then all of a sudden, he saw a Roman soldier and then more appeared. The house is supposedly built on top of a Roman road, this could explain why Roman’s came to see him! I would be so scared! You can only go down there with a guide, I wonder why…..
The people who work/volunteer at the Treasurer’s House are so knowledgeable and can answer lots of questions about the house and its content! I would highly recommend visiting here, if you have a spare couple of hours in the centre of York and can face one of the most haunted buildings in this city!