Established in 1686, at a time when it was illegal to be Catholic, a group of religious sisters, now known as the Congregation of Jesus, opened this secret convent.
Their foundress, Mary Ward, pioneered the idea of religious women working as missionaries- part of that mission was to educate girls.
Following Mary’s death, the order founded the first schools for girls in the country- the second in this house. Today, it is the oldest living convent in the UK, it is central to the global order and there are more than 200 schools worldwide in Mary Ward’s name.
WELCOME TO THE UK’S OLDEST LIVING CONVENT…
Discover our story of secrecy, spies and survival in our fascinating exhibition and stunning 18th Century Hidden Chapel.
Enjoy a visit to our café for some of the best scones and cakes in the city and don’t miss the chance to stay in our award-winning Guest House situated in the heart of York.
Explore the history of this fascinating house through incredible artefacts, engaging interactives and stories of the people who changed the course of history.
Our recently refurbished rooms offer comfort, convenience and friendly service within a heritage building that is steeped in history.