BEDERN Hall, in York, will reopen on May 19 with a new heritage interpretation programme.
Visitors will see how the historic hall, in Bartle Garth, St Andrewgate, was restored and how it operated as the refectory for the Vicars Choral of York Minster, learning about their lifestyle and how they built the hall and discovering some of the things they left behind.
The hall’s later periods, and its many different uses over the centuries as tenemented accommodation, a bakery and a pork-pie maker’s curing hall, will be featured too.
Located a two-minute walk from York Minster, Bedern Hall has been seeking ways to open to new users and has received a Culture Recovery Fund grant to support its development plans.
The grant has begun to assist a new volunteer programme too that will bring additional opportunities for people to take part in the new opening arrangements.
Roger Lee, of the Bedern Hall Company, says: “Bedern Hall is one of York’s small but important historic venues and as we seek new ways for visitors to experience and learn about the hall, this is a timely change of direction for the business as we emerge from Covid-19 restrictions.
“It’s also a new opportunity for people to volunteer to help us with this vision to retell the Vicars Choral Story and the hall’s restoration.”
Bedern Hall will be open to visitors four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. New signs, interpretation information boards, a children’s trail and tours of the Bedern area are planned with guides.
A new Bedern Hall Tour App that visitors can access via QR codes on their smartphone or tablet device will provide information in text, audio, and video in up to ten languages and will doubles as a self-guide tour.
The hall will continue to offer facilities for wedding ceremonies and receptions, craft events, social events, community groups and business meetings. Its clientele include corporate organisations, private companies, social services and community groups.
“The aim is to bring the history of hall to the attention of visitors and local people and its continuing benefit to the city as one of York’s most important medieval meeting halls that’s often overlooked due to its location,” says Roger, who operates Bedern Hall, runs Time and Place Caterers from there and is a Freeman of the City.
Anyone interested in volunteering opportunities should contact Roger on 01904 646030 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bedern Hall heritage interpretation project is funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Culture Recovery Fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, using funds provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.