Shire of York Residency Museum

The history of York in an award-winning heritage listed building

This beautiful old building in York is a treasure trove of history. The former Magistrate’s residence has been reimagined as The Residency Museum, which sensitively shares the history of York, including the impact of settlement on Nyoongar peoples, convict stories and York’s vibrant migrant history. Learn about how Chinese and Albanian settlers helped clear land and build the market gardens of York. There is also opportunity to investigate the more recent history of York through the ‘Four Women’s Stories’ Room. The building itself is the last remaining part of the York Convict Depot and the last remaining Depot Superintendent’s Quarters in Western Australia. Convicts were only sent to Western Australia between 1850 and 1868. During a recent excavation, the original foundations and some early 20th century steps were uncovered. The steps lead to the old infirmary next door which was built on the Depot site. A small shoe previously found buried under a doorway indicates a common earlier belief that if you buried shoes and personal items under doorways, it would keep bad spirits away.


5 Brook Street
York WA 6302

Opening Hours

Friday 10am - 3pm. 11am to 3:00pm Saturday, Sunday and some publicised Public Holidays.
(Closed Good Friday, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day)

Hard history

This padlock is a harsh reminder of the way that Aboriginal people were treated. It was widespread practice during early settlement, to shackle Aboriginal prisoners when held in custody. It is...

Carmine cape

This red cape belonged to Helena, a child of Joseph London. In 1865 Joseph came to Australia as a convict from Worcester in England, for a seven-year sentence of 'servitude and labour' in York. Once...

Elixir of life

This concoction is made of snakes, birds and local mammals from around York. It was made by two Chinese brothers, Lee Lee and Lee Wan Chong, as an elixir, which they drank regularly. The brothers...

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