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York Castle Museum

Client: York Castle Trust

York Castle is a large and complex site whose early history commences in the Viking period. Developed through Norman times it later became the centre of the regional court system including the construction the County Jail, later still in the C18 new Assize Courts and a female prison were built. After the closure of the Prisons in 1928 it became the city’s main Museum, now run by the York Museums Trust. The Castle is a scheduled ancient monument and its key buildings are Grade 1 listed.

Real Studios were appointed in early 2019 to devise an interpretive masterplan and design options, working alongside Alison Brooks Architects and other consultants on a future funding bid to develop and implement the ‘Castle Gateway’ masterplan proposed for the site in 2016.

Our work explored a range of options for the sensitive development of the Museum’s existing buildings to accommodate new exhibition galleries on the themes of Castle, Prison and Everyday Life, including the reinterpretation of Kirkgate – the oldest recreated street in any museum in Britain.

Our role:

  • Interpretation masterplanning

  • Master space planning

  • Funding bid support

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