So many questions to answer in Hide & Seek trail at Bar Convent until November 5

The hiding hole in the Bar Convent chapel

THE Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre, in Blossom Street, York, is inviting you to find answers to clues and discover secrets that helped to save Catholics from being caught by their persecutors in Hide & Seek – The Trail. 

Secrets such as objects concealed in everyday household items; priest hiding holes, to be found within the Bar Convent; or invisible ink, used to write the secret letters sent by Mary Ward, but how did the recipients read them? Follow the trail and find the answers.  

Explore the collections to uncover the ways that Catholics kept their true religion hidden from the authorities to avoid arrest or death. Discover the reason why Father Edward Oldcorne was hanged, drawn and quartered in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot. His crucifix – the only item to survive the raids on Catholic properties – forms the centrepiece of the exhibition.

On November 5 1605, the day of the State Opening of Parliament, Guy Fawkes, of York, was discovered preparing to light a fuse on 36 barrels of gunpowder, hidden under the Houses of Parliament in London.

Had he succeeded in his mission to blow up Parliament, he would have wiped out the entire Royal Family, the Lords and the Commons. 

Father Edward Oldcorne’s crucifix

What was Edward Oldcorne’s connection to Guy Fawkes? How did the Bar Convent manage to build an illegal chapel in the middle of York without being caught?

So many questions to be answered in Hide & Seek, an exhibition that goes behind the scenes of the turmoil, suspicion, persecution and tragedy of that time.

Hide & Seek runs until November 5. Admission is £6, concessions, £4, children aged six to 15, £2, under 6s, free, family of four, £12; trail included. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; last entry 4pm. Tickets: 01904 643238 or

The Bar Convent chapel. Picture: Gareth Buddo