Final List Unveiled For York Unlocked Weekend

Arts & CraftsMuseum

York Unlocked has announced the final list of over 60 amazing York buildings that will be ‘unlocked’ and open for FREE between 15 and 16 October 2022. 

The brand-new event will showcase an eclectic range of buildings and open spaces of all shapes, sizes, design and ages – many of which are normally closed or only infrequently open to the public. There will be the chance to explore behind locked doors, discover hidden secrets and see the city and its development in a fabulous new light. 

This unique event will appeal to everyone from architecture connoisseurs and history students to anyone nosy enough to want to look behind the familiar facades they’ve walked past a hundred times but never seen inside. 

The diversity of buildings reflects the rich tapestry of York’s history – grand Georgian residences with magnificent fireplaces and Medieval timbered structures to a Masonic Lodge giving an insight into the traditionally ‘secretive’ world of the freemasons and design award winning contemporary architecture. Some buildings will be opening up areas previously ‘off-limits’ including Bootham School, where visitors can climb a staircase historically forbidden to students. 

Highlights include: 

Herbert House, The Guildhall, De Grey Rooms, Kings Manor, the Duncombe Place Masonic Lodge, Hudson Quarter, Monk Bar, Bootham School, Castlegate House, York Minster, Garforth House, Cumberland House, Bar Convent, Bedern Hall, many York churches plus SPARK York and other contemporary RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award-winning buildings.  

The event is the first of its kind for York but draws inspiration from the Open House and Open Doors events from across the UK and Europe. Its organisation has been a labour of love on a non-profit basis by a dedicated team of six volunteers. This includes volunteer organisers and fundraisers plus 35 plus volunteer stewards who will welcome visitors to properties throughout the weekend. 

It’s hoped that the event will become an annual celebration for the city, with aspirations to unlock even more doors in future years. 

The event features a mix of completely open access (no need to book, just turn up and explore) and pre-booked tours. Booking for tours will go live in early October. 

Kathy M King, founder of York Unlocked, explains:  

“York is packed to the rafters with history and intriguing buildings of all ages. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to discover these usually hidden gems and to explore their own must-see list from over 60 experiences on offer.  

A huge thank you to all the building and space owners and managers as well as our team of dedicated volunteers for helping us to unlock so many doors. We really hope this paves the way for more York Unlocked events in future.”  

The full programme for York Unlocked is now available for download from

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