A MUCH-LOVED, but often overlooked, medieval hall in the heart of York is getting ready to reopen this month.

Bedern Hall tucked away in Bartle Garth off St Andrewgate, close to York Minster, opens to the general public on Wednesday, May 19 with a new heritage interpretation programme.

Visitors will see how the hall was restored, what is was like when it was the Refectory for the Vicars Choral of York Minster and will learn about their lifestyle, how they built the hall and discover some of the things they left behind.

It also includes later periods and its many different uses over the centuries including as tenemented accommodation, a bakery and a pork pie maker’s curing hall.

A two-minute walk from York Minster, Bedern Hall has been seeking ways to open the hall to new users and recently received a Cultural Recovery Fund Grant to support its development plans.

The grant has also begun to assist a new volunteer programme that will bring additional opportunities for local people to take part in the new opening arrangements.

Roger Lee of the Bedern Hall Company, runs Time and Place catering and operates Bedern Hall, he is also a Freeman of the City.

He said he is keen to hear from people who would like to act as volunteers in the hall.

He said: “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 is also a new opportunity for local people to volunteer to help us with this vision to retell the Vicars Choral Story and the Hall’s restoration.”

The hall will open to visitors four days per 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 local guides.

Plus, a new Bedern Hall Tour App that visitor’s access via QR codes on their smartphone or tablet device that provides the information in text, audio, and video in up to ten languages and doubles as a self-guide tour.

Roger said, the hall continues to offer facilities for wedding ceremonies and receptions, craft events, social events, local community groups and business meetings.

Its customers include corporate organisations, private companies, social services and local community groups.

Roger said: “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 is often overlooked due to its location.”

For anyone interested in volunteering opportunities please contact Roger on 01904 646030 or you can email him: roger@bedernhall.co.uk