Kirkham Priory

kirkham priory whats on yorkshire


Situated between the city of York and the town of Malton, the riverside ruins of Kirkham Priory grace the picturesque Derwent valley near the Yorkshire Wolds. This serene tourist attraction offers a glimpse into history, including Winston Churchill’s secret visit during the Second World War and the intriguing connection between Helmsley Castle and the priory.

Whether you’re on a family day out or enjoying the natural beauty of the area through walking or cycling, Kirkham Priory offers a peaceful retreat to discover the monk’s way of life or relish a riverside picnic amidst the Augustinian ruins.

Key Highlights

  • Unveil Churchill’s Secret Visit – The intriguing story behind Winston Churchill’s covert visit.
  • Explore the Heraldry-Adorned Gatehouse – Admire the Gatehouse adorned with the heraldry of the De Roos family.

Plan Your Visit

Booking in Advance

While advanced booking is not mandatory, securing your day ticket to Kirkham Priory online ensures the best price and guaranteed entry.

  • Online booking available until 8.45 am on your visit day.
  • Tickets can be purchased upon arrival, but discounts may not apply.
  • Enjoy flexibility with your day ticket; arrive at your convenience within our opening hours.

Ticket Prices

  • Adult: £5.00
  • Child: £3.00

Note: The site remains closed during the winter season.

History Unveiled

Rooted in Monastic Reform

Situated along the banks of the river Derwent, Kirkham Priory boasts a history dating back 900 years, emerging during an era of monastic reform. For over four centuries, it served as a home to a community of Augustinian canons deeply ingrained in the medieval north’s religious, social, political, and economic fabric.

The Dissolution of Monasteries

Kirkham’s monastic life came to a halt in 1539 during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. In the 19th century, the priory’s picturesque ruins captivated tourists. Notably, during the Second World War, the monastery’s grounds were a hub for secret military research.

Plan Your Visit

Opening Times

April to October: Open daily, 10 am to 6 pm.


The car park is well-marked and easily accessible from the B6271. Kirkham Priory is adjacent to the car park. Consider contributing £1 or £2 to St Agatha’s.


Nearby Richmond Castle offers a shop and toilets. Richmond town provides public toilets and various dining options.


Some parts of the site may have uneven terrain, with stairs and steps within the ruins. Accessibility info here.


Kirkham Priory, Whitwell on the Hill, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO60 7JS
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