York, UK - February 19, 2013: Merchant Adventurers Hall was constructed in the fourteenth century and is still in use today. An senior couple is strolling in the grounds and tow men in the background are picking up litter.


Merchant Adventurers' Hall


York's most impressive semi-timbered building is still owned by the fraternity that built it almost 650 years ago and it is the oldest surviving guildhall of its kind in Britain. The owner was originally a religious fraternity and one of the hall's chambers is still a chapel, but the building's name refers to the pioneering business exploits that made the fraternity's fortunes while 'adventuring' their money in overseas markets at a time when York was an important international port.

The cavernous first-floor Great Hall with its oak-beamed roof is especially grand; but the fraternity was also in the business of charity and on the ground floor it's still possible to see signs of the building's use as a hospital from the 14th to the 20th centuries. There's also an interactive game where you can assess medieval market forces and play at adventuring overseas to make your fortune by trading goods such as wool, cloth and wine.

Entrance is either off Fossgate or Piccadilly; there's an on-site cafe serving good coffee.

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