Mind Your Medieval Table Manners!

Volunteer Slyvia Jewels sets the impressive top tablet at Barley Hall's 'Meet the Servants''

Issued 21/10/15

Forget the servants of Downton Abbey, volunteers at historic Barley Hall are preparing to bring a day in service in the late-medieval period back to life this October.

York’s historic medieval townhouse, Barley Hall, is preparing to welcome back it’s loyal team of servants on Wednesday 28th October when they will showcase what life would have been like for the people who lived and worked in the Hall during the Middle Ages.

The Barley Hall servants group, which is made up entirely of volunteers, will take the Hall back in time to the late-medieval period and undertake the duties of the people who worked there, showing visitors such diverse tasks as household care & cleaning and herbal remedies to teaching the proper medieval table manners and etiquette.

“Our volunteers are a passionate bunch, who love to guide the visitors to Barley Hall through the sometimes confusing world of medieval York. Table etiquette can be particularly difficult to comprehend, the hand washing ritual that took place in grand houses like Barley Hall were complicated affairs and the servants themselves had to be quite skilled, as the slightest mistake could have landed them and their lord in hot water!”

Said Helen Harris, Volunteer Manager for York Archaeological Trust, the owners of Barley Hall.

Indeed the volunteers represent the roles of the domestic workers of the Middle Ages by donning costumes and actually undertaking some work from the period.

“Visitors enjoy seeing history in action; to see how much effort household tasks, that we take for granted as easy, took like washing, cleaning and preparing food. Our volunteers really show us how different our lives are now compared to our medieval ancestors!”

Continued Helen.

The Barley Hall Servants – Living History at the Hall, will take place at Barley Hall, just off Stonegate in York on Wednesday 28th October, 12pm to 4pm. The event is included in the general admission to the Hall, which also includes access to the ‘Power & Glory: York in the Time of Henry VIII’ exhibition.

For more information visit www.barleyhall.co.uk or call 01904 615505.


Notes to Editors:

Image Caption: Volunteers bring the Middle Ages back to life at special ‘Meet the Servants events at Barley Hall, York

About Barley Hall

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.

For further media information, please contact:

Paul Whiting
Marketing Manager
01904 543433