Capital of the North: Medieval York

Ruins of St Mary's Abbey
Ruins of St Mary's Abbey
York Minster
York Minster
Clifford's Tower
Clifford's Tower
Inside of York Minster
Inside of York Minster

Following William the Conqueror's defeat of King Harold and his Anglo-Saxon forces at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, his throne was nominally secure but he still had one hurdle to overcome: the control of his realm. Though he marched north, the city of York bore no resistance and so it became a base for his northern explorations. But Eboracum did not escape so easily. Several uprisings against the Norman invaders led to wide scale revolt. William retaliated with an unprecedented savagery, retaking the city and decimating the surrounding landscape. York emerged like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Spend a day exploring its rich architectural heritage, such as the famous city walls, four fortified gates, or "bars", and further buildings including Merchant Adventurers' Hall and a medieval townhouse, to trace how York blossomed and regained its economic, religious and civic importance in the north. The day culminates at the magnificent Minster, rebuilt in the Gothic style between 1220 and 1472: one of the greatest artistic achievements of the Middle Ages.

  • Introductory lecture on Medieval York at Clifford's Tower. Set off on a walking tour of York, including a guided tour of Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Barley Hall and a tour of the Richard III experience at Monk Bar
  • On foot to visit sites such as the ruins of St Mary's Abbey and Kings Manor, before culminating in a private guided tour of York Minster

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

09.45 Meet at stair entrance to Clifford’s Tower (former York Castle)

10.00 Expert introductory lecture on Medieval York.

10.30 Set off to tour Barley Hall, a stunning medieval town house, once home to the Priors of Nostell and Lord Mayor of York.


13.15 On foot to visit the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey/St Leonard’s Hospital and Kings Manor.

14.15 On to a private tour of York Minster with exclusive access to the Tracery Room and Mason’s Yard and a guided tour of the Minster.

16.30 Day ends

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Lunch
  3. Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue

See something old in a new way

Andante Study Days offer rare, often unique, insights into the world of working archaeology. All are led by expert guides, and are designed to give guests access to some of the best of British Archaeology... 

What to expect 

  • An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
  • A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
  • Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
  • Small Groups 12-25 guests 
  • The company of like-minded people!
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2020 Study Day Details

Fri 14th Aug - Fri 14th Aug



without flights


Led By: Dr Emma Wells

Guide Lecturer

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