Advantages Really interesting, central location
Disadvantages Poor access, may be hard to find.
|Is it worth visiting?|
Hidden in one of York’s snickleways, the Barley Hall is a Medieval townhouse that has been home to a Lord Mayor of York, the first York newspaper and even a plumber’s workshop. The Barley Hall was restored to its Medieval glory in the 1980s, and is furnished as it may have been in 1466.Tucked away down Coffee Yard, one of York's many Snickleways, off Stonegate, the medieval hall was hidden for years behind the facade of a dilapidated office block. It was only when this office block came to be demolished that the wonderful house underneath was found, and the painstaking work could begin of restoring it. The trust has done a wonderful job of bringing it back to how it would have looked in its heyday.
The museum brings history to life, and invites visitors to touch and experience medieval life for the family who lived here. A set of displays in the first room you enter tells the history of the house, from the Priors of Nostell Priory to the family of the Lord Mayor of York - William Snawsell. With the Snawsell family, the history of the house is 'up to date', and the exploration can begin. The beautiful old hall is grandly decorated, and is where the volunteers give presentations on the history of the house, the family and the area. There are occasional events in here, including a medieval craft fair and a winter fair. The hall is also available for hire for private events, so it isn't always open to the public and it's best to check in advance if you're intending to visit.Upstairs, the rooms are currently home to the From Hamlet to Hollywood exhibition on film costumes. This is a fascinating exhibition, and includes examples of costumes from Shakespearean films, thorough the Regency dramas to some of the costumes from The King's Speech. It's a wonderful exhibition for anyone interested in period costuming or film costuming, and there's even an opportunity to try on some pieces.
The museum is in the centre of York, so can't be accessed by car during the day, and the nearest bus stop is about ten minutes walk away. The upstairs is not wheelchair accessible. Prices are £4.95 for adults, or free with a York Archeological Trust pass or with a York Card.
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