Treasurer's House, York August 22

I enjoyed a day trip to York again and saw a place I had never visited before. The Treasurer's House was lovingly created in the 1920s by the son of a Wakefield industrialist, all in his own unique vision of what would suit a recreation of both medieval, Jacobean and 18th century rooms. The place is full of an eclectic mix of beautiful, highly expensive furniture and hand-crafted talking points (such as the bone and wood ship created by Napoleonic war prisoners). An unusual man, Mr Green was noted for his fine appearance. And so it ought to have been. He changed his clothes three times a day, bed linen every day, and had laundry shipped off to London once a week. A relief, no doubt, to his staff.

He believed a rich man's collection should not be a museum but available to all to see, and so when he gave it to the National Trust, it was on the basis of guided small tours for full enjoyment. His eccentricity included saying that if anything was ever moved, he would know, and come back to haunt them. He lived to 92, retired down south eventually, and would sent occasional letters of reproof that it had come to his notice something had been moved and must be replaced as was forthwith! He had a witch ball to ward off evil spirits, and given that he hung a portrait of Charles 1st over a table bought from a leading Cromwellian's relative, a Fairfax aunt, if I recall aright, perhaps had good reason to do so! 

The medieval banqueting hall is an entire house he took the floors out of as he wanted, not a real one, but one on the grand scale he envisaged himself.  You can find The Treasurer's House beside the Minster, where once the Minster's Treasurer's House stood before Henry the Eighth despoiled all the Minster's wealth. An enchantingly unusual place. Don't forget to book a tour, though, as Mr Green won't have people wandering in willy nilly chatting and strolling about his domain!

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