The Story Continues… Barley Hall Focuses on Henry VIII to Continue York’s Tudor Story!
His father’s influence on York is explored at the Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar, but arguably one of history’s best known monarchs takes centre stage at Barley Hall with the opening of a major new exhibition looking at the life and influence of Henry VIII.
The new exhibition, called ‘Power & Glory’, fills the first floor of the mediaeval property and looks at the power that Henry wielded, including the dissolution of the monasteries and its effect on York, and his one and only visit to the city – which had been a stronghold of rebellious Catholic activists – in 1541, when the city’s leaders begged for his forgiveness for their role supporting the Northern uprising.
“For generations, the story of Henry VIII and his wives has been one of the cornerstones of British historical education, so there is a huge interest in this king – and you see that manifest on TV and film with the myriad of programmes featuring this larger-than-life monarch,” comments Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, the owners of The JORVIK Group. “We’ll tell the story of Henry through some of the costumes that have been used in drama, family-friendly interpretations by the author of Horrible Histories, Terry Deary, and with the next set York Mystery Plays planned for 2016, looking at the Guilds of York, who made the city one of the most prosperous in the country by the time of his visit.”
The Great Hall has been dressed to represent a traditional Tudor feast, of the kind the king could have possibly enjoyed during his visit. “Although he was an athlete and jouster of some renown during his younger days, injury took its toll and by the time he arrived in York, he was the portly figure that we most often see represented in portraits,” adds Sarah.
Amongst the elaborate costumes on display will be one of the outfits worn by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in the TV Series ‘The Tudors’, as well as a replica of Catherine Howard’s dress, and many more that have appeared in TV dramas through the last 50 years including one of Keith Mitchell’s costumes from the acclaimed 1970 BBC production of ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’.
The impact that Henry VIII had on religious life in York will also have its own display, including a 3D map of York showing just how many churches and monasteries suffered as a result of his break from Rome. Indeed, the remains of one – St Mary’s – still stand in the city centre. Even the spectacular York Minster did not escape the reformation completely unharmed, with the shrine of St William destroyed in the year of Henry’s visit.
The exhibition in Barley Hall continues the story told across The JORVIK Group’s other attractions, the Richard III and Henry VII Experiences at Monk Bar and Micklegate Bar. Visitors can now explore the story of the fall of the Plantagenets and rise of the Tudors from 1483 to 1547 with the York Medieval Pass, which includes entry to all three attractions. For prices visit The JORVIK Group’s website.