Explore the Jorvik Group

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Until the 1980s, Barley Hall was hidden under the relatively modern facade. Only when it was going to be destroyed was the amazing medieval structure discovered and its rich history uncovered.

The medieval building has been lovingly restored to its original splendour with stunning high ceilings, beautiful exposed timber frames, and possibly the only horn window in England. It has been decorated to replicate what it would have looked like as the Snawsell home around 1483 and boasts a magnificent Great Hall. Visitors to Barley Hall can make themselves at home and sit on the chairs and handle the objects and experience what it would have been like to live in Medieval England.

Barley Hall is a tactile, immersive experience where you can step back into time and experience life in a Medieval townhouse. We have several access constraints due to the historic nature of the building, but we do our best to extend a warm welcome to all disabled visitors.

View PDF Access Guide here (PDF, 23 MB)

View the Word version of the Access Guide here (.docx, 31 MB)

Please find below information and resources that you might find useful.

Discover our facilities quickly using the links below:

The JORVIK Group aims to continually improve our facilities and access. If you have any feedback on how we could improve our access offer then please email us at [email protected].

At a Glance

Due to the historic nature of the building, Barley Hall has steps and raised thresholds throughout the building. There is no lift but we have a temporary ramp into the Great Hall and the Steward’s Room. We have public toilets but neither are accessible toilets.

All staff have disability awareness and Autism Awareness training whilst some staff have BSL training.

Glass doors have contrast markings. We have interpretation available in level 1 Braille translation and in large print. Visual stories are available to download on our website and we have paper copies at our front desk.

We have a complimentary ticket policy for carers and personal assistants, and all tickets are valid for one year, allowing as many returns and re-entries as you like. Seating is available throughout the building, and we have sensory packs for you to use at our front desk.

Wheelchair access: Whilst most of Barley Hall can only be accessed via stairs, we do have an alternative entrance for wheelchair users that allows you to visit the Vestibule, Great Hall, Steward’s Room, and the Introduction Video. Because we can only show a limited amount of Barley Hall, wheelchair users can visit Barley Hall for free. Our admissions staff is positioned near the main door so they can assist you. You can also contact our Reservations team ([email protected] or 01904 615505) to prebook a time and we’ll be able to send you more information.

Learn about our Sensory information here

Getting here

2 Coffee Yard

Travel by public transport

You can get to Barley Hall by bus and train.


The nearest bus stops are along the A1036, near the Theatre Royal. Both First Bus and Traveline have stops along the road. The bus stop is 0.20 miles / 0.32 km from Barley Hall.


The nearest train station is York Rail Station. The train station is 0.5 miles / 0.8 km from Barley Hall.

York is on the East Coast main line between London and Scotland. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London. Trains run every half an hour, with at least 25 direct trains each week day. Direct rail services also run to York from many of the UK’s main regional centres. York can be reached easily from all the following centres: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Liverpool. There are direct trains to and from Manchester International Airport that run every hour during the day

Travel by taxi

Barley Hall is located inside York city centre, which is heavily pedestrianised. The nearest drop off point is along Museum Street, which is about 0.2 mi away from Barley Hall.

You can get a taxi with Streamline by calling 01904 656565. The taxi company has a wheelchair accessible vehicle.


There is no on-site parking for Barley Hall. The nearest car park is the Monk Bar car park, just a ten-minute walk (0.4 mi) away. The car park has 19 dedicated disabled parking bays. 

You can find more information about it here: https://www.york.gov.uk/directory-record/421/monk-bar-car-park-yo31-7qr

Customer Care

We work to welcome all disabled people to our sites through a variety of training, feedback, and sector-led research. We are always keen to improve our offer, so if you have any suggestions, please email us at [email protected] 

Breastfeeding is welcome at all our sites, and we have plenty of seating for you to use.

Accessibility equipment

We provide the following accessibility equipment free of charge to visitors:

  • Ear defenders
  • Large print guides
  • Visual stories
  • Sensory packs containing various tactile and visual items, including fidget/fiddle objects

We have seating in each room.

We also operate a traffic light sticker system at all our attractions:

  • Red sticker = please do not approach me
  • Yellow sticker = please answer my questions but let me approach first
  • Green sticker = please approach and speak to me

You can pick up the sticker colour of your choice at the front desk.

There is a temporary ramp that can be set up to allow wheelchair access throughout the ground floor.

Service Animals

Service animals are very welcome. We have a water bowl at the admissions desk for them to use.

Service animals may toilet in the garden area off the Vestibule or outside in the courtyard.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In case of an emergency, staff are trained to help everyone evacuate quickly and efficiently, and have been given specific training to help disabled visitors evacuate.

Staff Training and Awards

All staff receive the following training:

  • Welcome Host Plus
  • Disability Awareness
  • Blue Assist
  • Autism Awareness
  • Dementia Friends
  • Sight Loss Awareness Training (from MySight York)
  • Sighted Guide training (from MySight York)
  • Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard scheme

Some staff have also received BSL training, and we are working to increase the number of staff with this training.

We also take part in the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) run by VisitEngland.

We have been recognised for our work in accessibility and won the following awards:

  • Autism Friendly Award (National Autistic Society) – 2019, 2021
  • Bronze for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (White Rose Awards) – 2019
  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (Visit York Awards) – 2020
  • Silver for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (White Rose Awards) – 2020

We have also been shortlisted for other awards:

  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism (Yorkshire Tourism Awards) – 2020, 2021, 2022

Barley Hall is a designated Safe Space.

Sensory Information

Barley Hall has been designed to be a tactile, immersive experience, so you can touch and interact with everything in the museum. The Hall is generally quiet and not too crowded, but if you do become overwhelmed, your ticket is valid for 12 months, so you can leave and return at any time you like.

The Barley Hall Coffee Shop can be noisy with the sounds of the machines and dishes clattering. It also has strong smells of coffee and tea which may be overwhelming. Our first floor is normally quieter than the ground level, and you are also welcome to sit in our outdoor courtyard.

Our quietest times are during the week, especially the morning. You can always contact our Reservations team at [email protected] or 01904 615505 to determine the best time for your visit