The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre

The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Established in secret in 1686, when Catholicism was illegal, we are now the oldest living convent in the UK. We are home to the Congregation of Jesus who opened the first schools for girls in the country while hiding their true identity. Our house is now open to the public where people can discover our fascinating history- as well as enjoy our café, garden and even stay in our guest house.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Charlieboy
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit
    Very interesting museum about the start of the convent and the Reformation. Not widely advertised so we had only just discovered it but worth a visit. Staff were very helpful, the place spotlessly clean, a decent gift shop and a very nice restaurant with a beautiful tiled floor. We did only have a coffee as we'd already eaten but the menu looked very inviting so a likely destination for lunch in the future. You can visit the restaurant without having to pay to go into the museum.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 24, 2023
  • Scarlettraveller
    Brisbane, Australia127 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best museum in York
    This museum is very well tucked away and if not told about it I doubt you would ever venture into it, however I believe it should be advertised everywhere! It is an amazing museum and so interesting. It combines the old with the new tastefully and is very engaging with its interactive exhibits. The chapel is lovely and is a nice place to sit in reflection or pray. They also have a cafe which looked delicious and a small shop with some great finds.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written September 27, 2023
  • Fritse Z
    Lystrup, Denmark686 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely museum
    The oldest convent in the UK. At a time when you were punished if you were Catholic this convent was build and run by nuns pretending to be widows. They opened a school for girls, the second school for girls to be opened in the UK
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 23, 2023
  • Lumberjack
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hidden gem
    Well, what a hidden gem of a place! Tucked away behind an unassuming door (this is explained why in the museum) with an amazing history and story behind it, really enjoyed going round and learning of it's history, absolutely fascinating. Then to top off our visit a coffee and delicious eats in the cafe, indoors or out in the lovely garden. An unusual place and well worth a visit by tourists and locals alike, lovely helpful, friendly, knowledgeable staff and a warm welcome extended to all. I can highly recommend a visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written January 3, 2024
  • Jeremy N
    Congleton, United Kingdom1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Women’s Education
    We thought this place might be interesting but it was so much more meaningful than we expected. What an amazing story of women’s education. Mary Ward was such an inspirational figure who suffered so many set backs in her mission to educate women and enable them to do great things. I’m sitting in the cafe and will visit the garden on the way out. Well worth visiting.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 7, 2024
  • Nicola
    Chorleywood, United Kingdom2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Instructive, interesting and absorbing
    A wonderful find - so interesting and information at every level for all to enjoy. We were made very welcome. The displays clear and helpful. Interactive displays all working and of a high standard. The history goes from the sixteenth century through to the present day, including the work of the present nuns.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 3, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles177 reviews
Excellent
114
Very good
44
Average
16
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Fritse Z
Lystrup, Denmark686 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
The oldest convent in the UK. At a time when you were punished if you were Catholic this convent was build and run by nuns pretending to be widows. They opened a school for girls, the second school for girls to be opened in the UK
Written October 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SuePattle
bury st edmunds48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Decided to go and find this heritage centre after hearing about it on our ‘ Bloody Tour ‘ . Was definitely worth finding and learning all about the history, through the excellent exhibition? The hidden chapel is stunning and make sure you find the hidden priest hole and the ‘ hand ‘ . There is a beautiful relaxing garden where you can enjoy some treats from the cafe.
Written August 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scarlettraveller
Brisbane, Australia127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Solo
This museum is very well tucked away and if not told about it I doubt you would ever venture into it, however I believe it should be advertised everywhere! It is an amazing museum and so interesting. It combines the old with the new tastefully and is very engaging with its interactive exhibits. The chapel is lovely and is a nice place to sit in reflection or pray. They also have a cafe which looked delicious and a small shop with some great finds.
Written September 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lumberjack
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Well, what a hidden gem of a place! Tucked away behind an unassuming door (this is explained why in the museum) with an amazing history and story behind it, really enjoyed going round and learning of it's history, absolutely fascinating.
Then to top off our visit a coffee and delicious eats in the cafe, indoors or out in the lovely garden.
An unusual place and well worth a visit by tourists and locals alike, lovely helpful, friendly, knowledgeable staff and a warm welcome extended to all.
I can highly recommend a visit.
Written January 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeremy N
Congleton, UK1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We thought this place might be interesting but it was so much more meaningful than we expected. What an amazing story of women’s education. Mary Ward was such an inspirational figure who suffered so many set backs in her mission to educate women and enable them to do great things. I’m sitting in the cafe and will visit the garden on the way out. Well worth visiting.
Written February 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maryfabuk81
259 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Solo
I had never visited the convent before but I saw there was an exhibition I was interested in, so off I went.
The staff inside were so welcoming and lovely. They made sure I knew the layout of the place so I didn't miss anything and that I had all the right leaflets with me for information.
There are so many interesting pieces here, it's a treasure trove for history lovers, like me.
The Chapel is a beautiful peaceful place and I enjoyed just sitting in the quiet for a while in there. The relic of St Margaret is kept here but there is a blind drawn down over it so anyone who wouldn't want to see it doesn't have to, which I thought was very respectful. Those who would like to see it can simply pull up the blind.
The relic aside, there are other artifacts which are genuinely historically interesting and I had absolutely no idea they were housed here, such as a piece of the Holy Cross and the seal of St Thomas More for example.
Once I'd looked around the exhibition, I had a pot of tea in the cafe. The cafe is really nice and reasonably priced as well.
I'll definitely come back for another visit.
Written March 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cormack15
Edinburgh, UK19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
If you are interested in churches and suchlike I'd recommend you visit this interesting convent. The visit area is small (can be done in, say, 15 mins) but is fascinating. The chapel has an interesting history and it led me to other interesting research afterwards. There is a small cafe (didn't try it) and a small shop which seemed reasonably priced. They also offer guest rooms for overnight stays but, again, didn't check that out. A nice little off-piste place to visit in York.
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Akiko
Liverpool, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
I was very impressed with the place. My husband and myself visited there twice but we would have visited all three dates in York and we would have learnt more background of the amazing establishment if we had known the place earlier.

The cafe people were personable and were hard working and it was spotless. My husband loved the cafetiere and full breakfast. The scorn was big and was just right to be shared with my husband on the journey home. I loved the history and the calm
ambience so I hope that any visiters would respect that. I recommend the place.
Written January 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim B
Cromer, UK332 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
The exhibition (£5) wasn't finished when we last visited the city. Well worth spending some time there now. The place has an interesting history. It leads to the beautiful chapel at the rear. There is also a good cafe and some lovely gardens to sit in and enjoy a meal.
Written September 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicola
Chorleywood, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
A wonderful find - so interesting and information at every level for all to enjoy. We were made very welcome. The displays clear and helpful. Interactive displays all working and of a high standard. The history goes from the sixteenth century through to the present day, including the work of the present nuns.
Written April 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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