CHILDREN from across York have been enjoying learning about one of the city’s most historic buildings thanks to a series of visits.

The charity Merchant Adventurers says more than 1300 children from 20 primary schools have over the past year visited the Merchant Adventurers Hall in Fossgate, a Medieval guildhall which dates back to 1357.

They enjoyed a day of interactive games, exploration and activities all tailored to specific areas of their curriculum. This ‘Merchant Adventurers’ Experience’ project has been funded by The Merchant Adventurers’ Charitable Trust whose aim is to support business and enterprise education, with the current focus of providing opportunities for young people in the city.

The Trust organises several fundraising events throughout the year, such as the Beer Festival, which is set to return again in July this year, to raise money for these projects. Last year’s Beer Festival raised £13,000, with the aim to raise £17,000 in 2024.


Lauren Marshall, Museum Director said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer these visits to local children. They give the children the opportunity to learn outside the classroom and explore part of their city’s history.  With 667 years of history the Hall and its stories are the perfect place to inspire and bring learning to life! We are delighted that so many children have had the opportunity to visit, and we look forward to welcoming more over the coming years.”

This year, children have: discovered the hazards of pirates for the Tudor Merchant Adventurers, been amazed by Henry VIII’s coded letter, studied the mysteries of medieval medicine, learnt the dances of the Tudor court, had their stomachs turned by the delicacies served at Georgian banquets and explored the impact of the rivers on the Hall.

Four schools have also been treated to a performance of Romeo & Juliet by local theatre company, Four Wheel Drive, with the Hall becoming the perfect backdrop to bring the story and language to life.

Abbie Seevers, Year 5 teacher from Hempland Primary said: ” We had a fantastic morning, where we learnt all about Tudor music, trade and other events in history.

"The children loved taking part in the Tudor trade activity, where they had to buy and sell items from different countries' ports, thinking about wars and other conflicts from the time period. The children also experienced a fantastic music workshop, where they saw and heard lots of Tudor instruments.

"To round off the morning, the children took part in some Tudor dance, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The staff were outstandingly knowledgeable about the Tudors and it was a great experience.”

Visits for all KS2 classes in York are fully funded by the Merchant Adventurers’ Charitable Trust, this includes transport costs. 

To find out more contact, Rebecca Francis,

For further information about the Beer Festival and to book tickets visit: