Museum Gardens

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Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2021

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Despite visiting York many times, I’d never been to “York Museum Gardens”: in the grounds of the Yorkshire Museum. The gardens are open from 10.30am to 6pm and are free.

Although not particularly spectacular in October, there were some interesting buildings, which ESW has covered extremely thoroughly in a previous “review”:

As the gardens border the River Ouse, which is prone to flooding, work was being undertaken by the Environment Agency to improve the flood defences in the Marygate area as part of the wider City of York flood defences plan. Consequently a small area of the garden was out of bounds.

We walked around a circular path and saw the “hospitium”: which contrary to what we first thought, was something to do with hospitality. We also saw the magnificent remains of “St Mary’s Abbey”: and walked around the Edible Wood established in 2015 with its range of well-labelled plants like the Japanese Bitter Orange and Szechuan Pepper Bushes as well as more common herbs and vegetables.

We found a “Mosaic Map”: – a 4m × 4m walk-on mosaic depicting the Yorkshire section of William Smith’s famous geological map of 1815. It was made by Janette Ireland from fossils, both real and formed from pebbles, discarded stone from York Minster and tiny millstones made of millstone grit.

The gardens are definitely worth a visit and as there are plenty of benches, they can provide respite from sightseeing.

Helen Jackson

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