Coin Making

Coin Making

Market Life

Market Life


York had been founded as the Roman legionary fortress of Eboracum and revived as the Anglo-Saxon trading port of Eoforwic. It was first captured in November 866 by Ivar the Boneless, leading a large army of Danish Vikings, called the "Great Heathen Army" by Anglo-Saxon chroniclers, which had landed in East Anglia and made their way north, aided by a supply of horses with which King Edmund of East Anglia bought them off and by civil in-fighting between royal candidates in the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria between the leaders of its two sub-kingdoms; Bernicia and Deira. Declaring a truce, the rivals for the throne of Northumbria joined forces but failed to retake the city in March 867, and with their deaths Deira came under Danish control as the Kingdom of Northumbria and the Northumbrian royal court fled north to refuge in Bernicia. A Viking attempt against Mercia the same season failed, and in 869 their efforts against Wessex were fruitless in the face of opposition from Kings Ethelred and Alfred the Great. The archbishop, Wulfhere, seems to have temporised and collaborated with the Norse, for he was expelled from York when a Northumbrian uprising in 872 was only temporarily successful; he was recalled and held his seat until his death. The Viking king Guthred was buried in York Minster, a signal that he and the archbishop had reached a lasting accommodation. All the Viking coinage appears to have emanated from the mint at York, a mark of the city's unique status in Northumbria as an economic magnet. Jorvic was the Norse term for the region and city.


Cravens, a firm of confectioners founded in 1803, relocated from their factory in Coppergate in central York in 1966. Between 1976 and 1981, after the factory was demolished, and prior to the building of the Coppergate Shopping Centre (an open-air pedestrian shopping centre which now occupies the enlarged site), the York Archaeological Trust, a charity founded in 1972 by Peter Addyman, conducted extensive excavations in the area. Well-preserved remains of some of the timber buildings of the Viking city of Jorvík were discovered, along with workshops, fences, animal pens, privies, pits and wells, together with durable materials and artefacts of the time, such as pottery, metalwork and bones. Unusually, wood, leather, textiles, and plant and animal remains from the period around 900 AD, were also discovered to be preserved in oxygen-deprived wet clay. In all, over 40,000 objects were recovered. The trust recreated the excavated part of Jorvik on the site, peopled with figures, sounds and smells, as well as pigsties, fish market and latrines, with a view to bringing the Viking city fully to life using innovative interpretative methods. The Jorvik Viking Centre, which was designed by John Sunderland, opened in April 1984. Since its formation, the Centre has had close to 20 million visitors.


Unfortunately, owing to the flooding in York, the Jorvik Viking Centre will be closed fo 2016. There are a number of other sites owned by the Jorvic group which are still open. DIG is an educational resource owned by the York Archaeological Trust which aims to increase understanding of archaeology and related matters. Activities in which visitors can engage include: Discovering techniques used by field archaeologists; Investigating scientific techniques used by archaeologists; Finding out about current archaeological digs and viewing recent finds;Learning more about the history of York. Barley Hall is a reconstructed medieval townhouse. Originally built around 1360 by the monks of Nostell Priory, it was later extended in the 15th century. On the ground floor, Barley Hall comprises a number of rooms. The store room, used as an admissions area, contains a large quantity of original 1360 woodwork, which leads onto a second store room, now called the Steward's room. At the heart of the building is the Great Hall, a 1430 construction, decorated on the basis of equivalents elsewhere in the city of York. The building also includes a pantry and a buttery. On the first floor is the parlour, which overlooks the hall, a gallery and several bedchambers.


Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar (Experience is replacing Museum as the exhibits become more interactive). The name of this four-storey-high gatehouse is from the Old Norse 'mykla gata' or 'great street', and leads onto Micklegate ('gate' is Norwegian for 'street' remaining from Viking influence in York). It was the traditional ceremonial gate for monarchs entering the city, who, in a tradition dating to Richard II in 1389, touch the state sword when entering the gate. A 12th-century gatehouse was replaced in the 14th century with a heavy portcullis and barbican. Its symbolic value led to traitors' severed heads being displayed on the defences. Heads left there to rot included: Henry Hotspur Percy (1403), Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham (1415), Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (1461), and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland (1572). The Richard III Experience at Monk Bar (formerly known as the Richard III Museum), is located in the tallest of the four gatehouses, Monk Bar, in the historical city walls of York, England. It describes the life of Richard III, the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty. The museum explores his early life, and the battles that raged between the houses of Lancaster and York during the Wars of the Roses. It describes his reign and his death at the Battle of Bosworth. There are arms and armour from his reign, and multimedia presentations about the key battles of the Wars of the Roses.


As Barley Hall is an historic building, access for visitors who are wheelchair users is restricted to the ground floor of Barley Hall. The ground floor is separated into two parts by the passage and both halves can be accessed from the ground floor. Guide and assistance dogs are welcome at Barley Hall. Dog bowls are available at the front desk. Braille guides are available. As both Monk Bar and Micklegate Bar are historic buildings, there is unfortunately no access for visitors who are wheelchair users. Braille guides are available at both The Richard III Experience at Monk Bar or the Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar. You may find volunteers to speak to, enhancing your visit, and you may also find one of the volunteers with a handling collection to bring the artefacts to life. There is full access for wheelchair users throughout DIG. Due to space restrictions on tours, numbers may be limited per tour if there are multiple wheelchair users, but there are no such restrictions when visiting the rest of the attraction. Guide and assistance dogs are welcome at the DIG. Dog bowls are available at the front desk. The DIG tour is fully guided by a member of staff and very tactile. You may also find one of the volunteers with a handling collection in our gallery area, to bring the artefacts to life. A large print guide of the exhibition-only area is available.


Location : Coppergate Shopping Centre, Coppergate, York YO1 9WT

Transport: York (National Rail) then bus . Bus routes : DIG - 9; Barley Hall - 6, 56; Micklegate Bar 11, 30, 31, 37, 44, 66, 747, X4 and X46; Monk Bar - 12, 13, 14, 19, 56 and 181.

Opening Times - Barley Hall: Daily 10:00 to 17:00.

Opening Times - Micklegate Bar: Daily 10:00 to 17:00.

Opening Times - Monk Bar: Daily 10:00 to 16:00.

Opening Times - DIG: Daily 10:00 to 17:00.

Tickets - Barley Hall: Adults £6.00.   Children £3.00   Concessions £4.50.

Tickets - Micklegate Bar: Adults £3.50.   Children £2.00   Concessions £2.50.

Tickets - Monk Bar: Adults £3.50.   Children £2.00   Concessions £2.50.

Tickets - Medieval Pass: Adults £8.00.   Children £4.50   Concessions £6.00.

Tickets - DIG: Adults £6.50.   Children £6.00   Concessions £6.00.

Tel: 01904 615505