Barley Hall

The entrance to Barley Hall - York's hidden medieval gem.
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Barley Hall is a stunning medieval house, once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York. Until the 1980s the house was hidden under the relatively modern facade of a derelict office block. Only when the building was going to be destroyed was the amazing medieval building discovered and its history uncovered.

Explore York in the time of Henry VIII at our Power and Glory exhibition. Discover the archaeology, first-hand accounts of life in the city and the effects that this greatest of Tudor monarchs had on life in York during his thirty-eight year reign.

Magic and Mystery is a new exhibition at Barley Hall that explores the often fine line between science, religion and magic in medieval society. Galleries invite you to explore the role of magic in the everyday lives of people living in the Middle Ages. Displays investigate the individuals pronounced in written records as witches and wizards; the ‘science’ of magic, alchemy and experimentation; protective charms and forecasting the future through prophecies and dreams.

Venue Type:

Museum, Historic house or home, Archaeological site

Opening hours



CLOSED: 24/ 25/ 26 December

Admission charges

Adult: £6.50
Child: £3.50
Concession: £5.00
Family x4: £17.00
Family x5: £20.00
Under 5s: FREE


  • English Heritage

Additional info

Barley Hall is a reconstructed medieval townhouse and as such has some restrictions for those visitors with mobility and access difficulties. We will be very pleased to discuss your access requirements at any time, please telephone us in advance of your visit on 01904 615505.

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Discover a new side to life in the Middle Ages at Magic & Mystery

Magic & Mystery | Launch Weekend

  • 24 June 2018 — 24 November 2019 *on now

Discover a new side to life in the Middle Ages at Barley Hall with a weekend of activities exploring the fine line between science, religion and magic in medieval York.

Join the Alchemist in the Great Hall as he works to master the Magnum Opus, the Great Work. However, this is more science than magic, as he will use his knowledge and skill to demonstrate the processes of calcinations, distillation and sublimation.

Witness alchemical wonders such as The Peacocks Tail or The Tree of Diana, and be sure to bring your spare change to see it transformed into gold in front of your very eyes!

Magical Crafting

Once you’ve finished being astonished by the work of our alchemist be sure to explore the rest of the hall and get hands-on with history with fun magic-inspired crafting activities for all the family, including wand-making, telescope construction, magical seed planting and the opportunity to make your own charms.

Pre-booking is recommended but not necessary. Crafting activities are charged separately.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 16-17


Included in Barley Hall admission price


Barley Hall
2 Coffee Yard
Off Stonegate
North Yorkshire

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01904 615505

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.