Barley Hall

Barley Hall

In the 14th century Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire, like many other religious houses, had strong links with York Minster.  The Priors were expected to attend ceremonies and business meetings in the city, so it made sense for them to have somewhere to stay.  Thomas de Dereford, Prior from 1337 to 1372, arranged for a hostel to be built in York in 1360.

This is the building known as Barley Hall.  The Priory owned the building until Henry VIII's Dissolution in 1540.

During the 15th century the Priory fell on hard times and the hostel was leased out to private tenants.  The most distinguished of these was Master William Snawsel, a Mayor of York, who lived in the house for at least 20 years from the mid 1460s to the late 1480s.  This is the period that the York Archeaological Trust is seeking to reproduce in Barley Hall.

In 1540, along with all monastic property, the building was confiscated by the crown.

By the seventeenth century it was almost certainly divided up into several smaller dwellings with the result that the "screens passage" - an internal corridor - came to be used as a public short-cut through from Stonegate to Swinegate.  It remains a public right-of-way through the heart of Master Snawsell's house!

By Victorian times, the house was "a warren of tradesmen's workshops" and its last use before being sold for redevelopment in 1984 was as a plumber's workshop and showroom.


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