Inside York

Bar Convent Museum, York


The Bar Convent York  


Established in 1686, The Bar Convent is the oldest living convent in England...



The Bar Convent York 

The Bar Convent York 

The Bar Convent York 

The Bar Convent York

The Bar Convent York



Bar Convent Museum

17-19 Blossom St

YO24 1AQ

01904 643238

Welcome to the Bar Convent in York...

The community at the Bar Convent belong to the Congregation of Jesus which was founded by the Yorkshire woman, Mary Ward (1585-1645).

Mary Ward was a pioneer of education for women who fought life long, for the right of religious sisters to pursue a variety of ministries outside the convent walls. Mary Ward's order has two branches, known today as the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Bar Convent was established in 1686 by Frances Bedingfield, an early member of Mary Ward's Institute, in response to Sir Thomas Gascoigne's words,

The Bar Convent is the oldest living convent in England. It was established as a school for Catholic girls in 1686 on the current site and the surviving Grade 1 listed Georgian building, which dates back to the 1760's, now offers a variety of award winning facilities for historians, the general public and businesses alike.

The present buildings include what was once an open courtyard but which is now a splendid Victorian tiled Entrance Hall. There is also the Great Parlour, with its portraits of the early sisters, the library of antique books, the richly endowed archive rooms and finally, the stunningly beautiful neo-classical chapel, completed in secret in 1769 by the York architect Thomas Atkinson before the repeal of the Penal Laws for Catholic Chapels in 1791. The chapel is open to visitors throughout the day and serious research students may apply for access to view the extensive Library.

In addition to the general architectural and historical interest of the site, the convent has a fascinating museum bringing to life the history of the Bar Convent and religion in the North of England.

This elegant Georgian backdrop, so close to the historic centre of York, also provides a marvellous setting and ambience in which to browse leisurely in our gift shop or enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.

Our cafe is well known locally for its relaxing atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, secluded garden and of course, it's delicious food.

For those inclined to stay a little longer we offer comfortable Bed and Breakfast accommodation , with some en-suite and self catering facilities, and the Convent is also a perfect venue for meetings and events, dinners, arts and crafts shows, fashion shows and concerts. We also host our own program of events throughout the year. .

The Bar Convent Trust is a Registered Charity (No 294320), which was established in 1986 to continue the long tradition of the advancement of education and religion at the Bar Convent, while securing an appropriate future for the historic building. Bar Convent Enterprises Ltd is a trading subsidiary of the Bar Convent Trust which assists the charity in its objectives.

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Showing comments 1 to 4 of 5 | Next | Last
Barbara Trudeau
Posts: 5
Visit and Overnight Stay
Reply #5 on : Sat March 12, 2011, 21:35:30
We (2 couples) will be traveling to York on Thursday March 17th, 2011 and would like to visit the Bar Convent and rent 2 rooms at the Bed and Breakfast. Do you have any vacancies for that evening and what is the cost? Please and thank you!

Barb Trudeau
joanna Kemp
Posts: 5
Reply #4 on : Mon March 07, 2011, 00:19:48
I believe that my family brought people from Scotland to the Bar Convent in the 18th Century. Would it be possible to find letters and documents in your archives relating to such movements?

The family name is Maxwell and was connected to the Scrope and Riddell families.

thank you for your help
Joanna Kemp
Nancy Giglio
Posts: 5
Margaret Clitherow
Reply #3 on : Tue July 20, 2010, 02:28:56
I am doing research for a book on Margaret Clitherow and Thomas More's daughter, Meg.Is there any information that you could give me regarding any late 16th century manuscripts that are concerned with Margaret Clitherow's life?
Thank you so much.
Yours truly,
Mrs. Nancy A. Giglio
Posts: 5
b % b accommodation nt. of Friday 30.7.10
Reply #2 on : Sun June 20, 2010, 14:07:50
I should like to stay for one night, one pensioner with one grandson, 9 years old, please. Sister Mary Walmsley was a colleague and good friend.
Showing comments 1 to 4 of 5 | Next | Last
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