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The Bar Convent Heritage Centre is a Georgian house hiding a big secret…

Since 1686, the goings-on at 17 Blossom Street have been York’s best-kept secret. A secret that remained hidden for hundreds of years, until its residents felt safe enough to reveal it. To the outside world, this house was York’s first school for girls. To those in the know, it was hiding an illegal convent. The English Reformation saw Catholicism banned and punishable by death, but this group of brave and determined women built a Convent, including an entire Chapel, under the watchful eyes of all of their suspicious neighbours. Today, more than 300 years later, it is the oldest active Convent in England.

Discover this remarkable story of survival through stunning artefacts and engaging interactives in our fascinating exhibition. With special activities for our younger visitors, a café and garden, the Bar Convent is a unique experience for the whole family to enjoy.


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