Candy crush: 18 pictures of wonderful old chocolate bars and boxes from York Castle Museum

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A close-up of this old Kit-Kat Chocolates assortment shows the fine detail of the artwork. Photographs: Richard McDougall

From Gipsy assortments to black and white Smarties, York’s confectioners were never short of a marketing idea.

And this year, York Castle Museum will reveal some of the most weird and wonderful chocolate treats dreamed up in the city.

It has a huge collection of choccy-related memorabilia, and a selection of the best will be on display at a new exhibition from Easter – Chocolate: York’s Sweet Past.

Chocolate: York’s Sweet Past

York Castle Museum

From April 1, 2017

Castle Museum website

The museum owns rarely seen advertising and packaging for brands such as KitKat, After Eight, Yorkie and Terry’s Chocolate Orange, sweet-making moulds and tools and even a tin of cocoa which went on Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic.

Bigger sweet shop

The tour will start in the museum’s Georgian, Victorian and Jacobean rooms, all filled with sweet delicacies of the day.

Visitors then head up to the Toy Gallery to find a spectacular whizzing and fizzing sweet making machine before following their nose to find out what’s cooking in the working Chocolate Factory where you can explore what it was like to work in York’s famous factories.

And a new larger sweet shop will open on Kirkgate, showing chocolates and sweets from Terry’s, Rowntrees and Craven’s.

Katie Brown, assistant curator of history at the museum, said:

We can’t wait to pick highlights from our huge assortment of rich and exciting chocolate and sweets artefacts and to put them on show for people to enjoy.

The collection, which includes adverts from as far back as the 1800s and original packaging from world-wide favourites such as Kit-Kat and Terrys Chocolate Orange as well as long forgotten former favourites. These will all help tell the fascinating story of York’s history as an iconic chocolate and sweet making city.


To whet your appetite, here’s a glimpse at the Castle Museum’s chocolate assortment…

Chocolate gallery

Chocolate pansy, anyone?
For the chocolate lover who likes to roam
Mr York doesn’t appear to be the most careful driver…
A clever marketing idea in black and white
The first of a selection of Dairy Box assortments comes in this familiar heart shape
This should keep you going
This assortment looks like it’s been knitted rather than made
See the face you love light up… Now that’s a proper-sized box of chocs
A hatbox assortment, and Terry’s Theobroma, the ‘food of the gods’
Treats from box and tube
KitKats through the ages
A tin of treats
Now there’s a satisfying way to spend tuppence
More amazing Rowntree’s paraphernalia
Green for go
When they were the proper size…
A children’s favourite, whatever the packaging

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