The historic Treasurers House in York was originally built to house the treasurers of York Minster. This was one of the most important positions in the Minster administration, so an impressive house was a must to entertain guests of the Minster. Some of the holders of the position were too important to actually do the work themselves, they would take the revenues while leaving a sub-treasurer to do all the work. The office was abolished in 1547 as a result of the Reformation.
The house was sold in 1565 when it was bought by the Youngs, a very powerful family who held it for several generations and rebuilt the main part of the house in the early seventeenth century. The house had many subsequent owners and was eventually bought by Frank Green a wealthy local industrialist in 1897. He used it to house his collections, a mixture of genuine 17th and 18th century antiques, reproductions and fakes. Green retired in 1930 and moved to Somerset, leaving the house and contents to the National Trust.
A Ghostly Tale from the Treasurers House (York is known as the most haunted city in the world)
In 1953, while working on repairs in the cellar, a young workman heard the sound of a trumpet. While he watched – probably frozen with fear (or maybe legless with beer) – a Roman soldier’s helmet, followed by a collection of Roman Soldiers, came through the wall. He reported them carrying round shields, lances and short swords. Apparently they looked tired and battle weary – but the most interesting feature of this sighting is that their lower legs weren’t visible. It was as though they were walking on a surface below the cellar of the house. It was only much later, when excavations were conducted that it was discovered the house had been built across a Roman Road. And that road was 18 inches below the cellar floor! The apparitions of the Roman soldiers, with their 4th century round shields, have been seen on several other occasions.