Barley Hall

2 Coffee Yd, York, YO1 8AR, UK 01904 610275

The oldest parts of Barley Hall date from about 1360, when the Hall was built as the York townhouse of Nostell Priory, the monastery near Wakefield in West Yorkshire. A new wing was added in about 1430. Soon after, the Hall became the home of a leading York citizen, William Snawsell goldsmith, Alderman and Lord Mayor of York.

The house was bought by York Archaeological Trust in January 1987. Later that year, a full archaeological investigation of the interior was carried out through one metre of deposits to the 14th century levels, revealing the remains of the floor of the Great Hall. Further investigations in 1990 to1991 looked at the courtyard and found the remains of the exterior stairway to the Great Chamber on the first floor.

During the exhaustive investigations of the site and structure in Coffee Yard, it became clear that any restoration of the property to its medieval origins would involve a great deal of reconstruction. After up to 600 years in place, most of the timbers were just no longer safe to use. In the end, after reconstruction was complete, only about 30% of the timber framing used original wood. However, the medieval remains allowed modern craftsmen to make authentic replicas of the originals and the medieval timber framework was remade and re-erected using as far as possible the tools and techniques familiar to medieval craftsmen.

In our re-creation of Barley Hall, we have chosen to focus on the life and times of Master William Snawsell – probably the Hall’s most distinguished resident, who lived and worked in York under Henry VI, Edward IV, Richard III and Henry VII. When you visit Barley Hall, we ask you to imagine that you are visiting Master Snawsell’s home towards the end of the reign of King Richard III – so the year is 1485 and the Battle of Bosworth, where Henry Tudor won the throne of England, is just on the horizon.




Phone Number 01904 610275
Building Number / Name 2
Street Coffee Yard
City York
Region England - North East
Post Code YO1 8AR
distance: Unknown
Address 2 Coffee Yd, York, YO1 8AR, UK
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