Make Yourself at Home

Barley Hall is a medieval townhouse, once home to the Lord Mayor of York. Located on the doorstep of York Minster, the building has been restored to its former glory, giving you the chance to experience what it would be like to live over five hundred years ago.

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Updated Booking Process

Please note: Due to an increase in demand we are recommending booking your visit at least six weeks in advance to guarantee the perfect experience for your school. For more information please visit the updated school visit booking process page.


Learn about the Snawsell family who lived here towards the end of the medieval period and how the remains of their home were uncovered and restored. Without plastic or concrete, discover how this timber framed building would have been recognised as a fashionable and prestigious residence.


Explore what life was like for both the family and the servants living in a wealthy merchant’s townhouse in medieval times and how the reign of Henry VIII affected people in the city. Take a tour of the rooms and make yourself at home; sit on the furniture, handle the objects and take part in role-play of the servants’ daily duties.


Immerse yourself in the sumptuous settings of the Great Hall, or the practical living quarters of the servants. Experience life for the residents of medieval York by playing games in the tavern or staging a play on our Mystery Plays wagon. Accompanied by our costumed characters, book a workshop, half day or full day experience to explore the themes of medieval and Tudor life in more detail.

JORVIK Group Learning Programme 2017/18