The most fortunate situation: The Story of York’s Museum Gardens

Author: Peter J Hogarth & Ewan W Anderson

  • ISBN: 978-0-950-07358-3
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Yorkshire Philosophical Society


The Museum Gardens, at the centre of York, are of major botanical, geological, archaeological and horticultural importance, and well used by York residents and visitors as a place to sit or stroll.  Laid out in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society on the site of the great Mediaeval abbey of St Mary’s, just outside what had been the wall of the Roman fortress, the Gardens provided a magnificent setting for the Society’s Museum, with a collection of plants from around the world and even a small menagerie… until the bear escaped!  Originally for the use of Society members only, the Gardens were made increasingly available to the public until, in 1960, they were ceded to the local authority and became one of York’s best-loved attractions.

In this book Peter Hogarth and Ewan Anderson use archive records, old maps, pictures and living memories to chart the varied and fascinating history of these twelve acres of land from Roman times to the present day and to set it in the context of botanic gardens around the world.

Published by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, the book is fully illustrated with photographs, maps, drawings and archive images.

Where to buy

For more details please contact the Yorkshire Philosophical Society: