Founded in AD 71, York is a great city in northern England that has a rich Roman and Viking history. York is the traditional country town of Yorkshire to which it gives its name. However, it didn't become a part of any of the three ridings of Yorkshire. The modern city of York which was established on April first of 19996 is a unity authority. Due to the many historical aspects, York is claimed to be one of the most haunted cities in Europe.
York offers as much history as any other town in England dating back to Roman times. Among its sights are York Minister, which is the Minster Church, the Shambles, the Yorkshire Museum, the Castle Museum and Gardens, the Richard the Third Museum, the York Dungeon, the National Railway Museum, the Treasure House, Jorvik Viking Center, Barley Hall, and many more attractions. The subject of this article is Barley Hall which is a rambling complex of two medieval buildings that are hidden away in the heart of York. It isn't the only medieval building in York but probably the most outstanding one. Why is this?
If you walked near the shambles of York with its cascade of leaning timber buildings you might be wondering about the people of those times, their lifestyle, and everything that was connected with those morals and manners. We regret to inform you that most of the surviving medieval houses in York are now gift shops or tea rooms with one exception, Barley Hall.
The complex of two buildings has been precisely restored to the way it would have been during the time of Richard the Third. But it isn't as easy as it may have sounded. Barley Hall was rediscovered in 1984. Although it was well known long ago that there was a medieval building in the location, the house was not recorded as a medieval house until 1980. With the purchasing and the further investigation it became evident that this was a very exciting site.
At long last, the York Archaeological Trust that had already been involved in the excavation of the site bought the property in 1987 with the goal of restoring fully as a venue for an exploration of York's medieval past. It was the second birth of the building and the first one was in 1360 when the York Mansion of the Priors of Nostell Priory was erected.
During the exhaustive investigations of this site and the structure in Coffee Yard, it became clear that the complete restoration of the building to its medieval origins would involve a great deal of reconstruction. After 600 years in place almost all of the timbers were not safe to use. As a result, after the reconstruction was complete, there was only thirty percent of the original timber framing was left. The rest of the timber which was seventy percent of it was restored with authentic replicas of the originals by modern craftsmen. All of the work was done in accordance with the medieval techniques and with the medieval tools. If you have ever seen a glass window with stripes of flattened cow's horn, just as they did in medieval times, you can only see it in Barley Hall.
The building is in two distinct halves; one half is the Great Hall Chamber dating back from 15th century and the Chamber range dating back from 1360. Both of them were reconstructed. Barley Hall's roof is also reconstructed. It was covered with authentically made with medieval tiling made by potter John Hudson. He also made all of the floor tiling in the Great Hall. The reconstructed floor is an exact copy of the original and the color pattern was taken from contemporary illustrations. The Interior of Barley Hall also follows the pattern of medieval style furniture and wall hanging.
The Hall's most distinguished resident was Master William Snawsell who lived in worked in York under Henry the Sixth, Edward the Fourth, Richard the Third, and Henry the Seventh. Having rummaged through a bunch of medieval wills and documents it was discovered that William Snawsell who was a goldsmith and an ex-Lord Mayor of York lived in this house in the 1480s.