History of the Yorkshire Museum
The Yorkshire Museum was one of the earliest purpose-built museums in the country.
The archaeology collection relates largely to York and North Yorkshire. Since 1830 most of the significant objects found within the city become part of the museum’s collection.
Today the museum houses galleries showcasing some of Britain’s finest archaeological treasures from the city’s Roman, Viking and medieval past as well as a nationally significant natural science collection, some of which is on show in Yorkshire’s Jurassic World.
Highlights of the archaeological collections include the Roman statue of Mars, the best example of 3D Roman sculpture ever found in Britain, the York Helmet and the stunning Middleham Jewel.
The York Observatory in the Museum Gardens is the major part of our Astronomy Collection. The 4 inch refractor telescope was built by York man Thomas Cooke in 1850, who went on to make the then-largest telescope in the world.
It was installed in 1981 when the observatory was restored.