Barley Hall in York is a reconstruction of a medieval building that once stood on the site as early as 1360. A new wing was added to the building around 1430. Not long after that, the Hall became the home of a well known York citizen, William Snawsell and it was even home to the Lord Mayor of York.
In 1540, due to the building being monastic property, it was confiscated by the crown.
By the 17th century it was divided up into several smaller dwellings with the result that the “screens passage” – which is an internal corridor – came to be used as a public short-cut through from Stonegate to Swinegate. It remains a public right-of-way through the very centre of Master Snawsell’s house!
By Victorian times, the house was “a warren of tradesmen’s workshops” and its last use before being sold for redevelopment in 1984 was as a plumber’s workshop and showroom.
In the 1980’s it was earmarked for demolition with offices and apartments due to stand in its place.
In 1987, the York Archaeological Trust purchased the property and restored the property into what you see today.
Nowadays, Barley Hall is a tourist attraction that has been restored to its original medieval splendour. It’s high ceilings, exposed timber frames and medieval interior give you a true feel of what the Snaswell home in 1483 would have looked like. If you are visiting York during the Christmas period you can participate in a recreation of a medieval Christmas. You will see much greenery and colour as you are taken back in time to explore the beautifully decorated rooms of Barley Hall, each dressed to reflect the various activities that would have taken place in the home and around the city of York in Lady Snawsell’s time.
Barley Hall allows you to relive the medieval experience. You can sit at the furniture and handle various medieval objects. Barley Hall is open all year round and sits in Coffee Yard and can be accessed from Stonegate or Swinegate.
Why not take the time to experience Barley Hall and other York attractions in one of our short stay lets. View our properties page to see everything we have to offer!