Taylors and Adventurers launch Ryedale Festival in York 25 May


Wednesday 25 May, 7pm, Merchant Taylors Hall and Merchant Adventurers Hall (above), York

A truly unique event and a chance to explore the Merchant Taylors Hall, not normally open to the public.

York’s two great medieval halls host an unmissable and unique collaborative event between the Companies of the Adventurers and Taylors of York and the Ryedale Festival. This Double Concert features world-renowned artists and celebrates the 600th anniversary of the Merchant Taylors’ Hall as well as providing an opportunity for the Ryedale Festival to launch its 2016 programme to York audiences. Both concerts are performed twice; the audiences will change places at the interval.

In the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall the Heath Quartet evoke the world of War and Peace with Tchaikovsky’s noble and lyrical 1st String Quartet. Its famous slow movement is based on a Ukrainian folksong that famously moved Leo Tolstoy to tears.

Heath_Quartet_2_ww Catrin_Finch_1_ww

In contrast, the Merchant Taylors’ Hall is the setting for an irresistible and varied recital by one of the country’s leading musicians, Catrin Finch, known as ‘The Queen of Harps’, and former Royal Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales.

Please consider joining us for what promises to be a special evening on Wednesday 25th May 2016 at 7.00pm at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.

There is a 7 to 10 minute walk between venues.

Tickets for this concert are £30.

To book please contact the Festival Box Office on 01751 475777 (Mon-Wed 9.30 – 2.00) or by email [email protected]

To see more details of the concerts at the main Festival in July, please visit the Ryedale Festival website.


The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is of major national importance and is a grade 1 listed building and scheduled ancient monument. It was built between 1357 and 1361, before most of the craft or trade guild halls in Britain, making it one of the largest buildings of its kind and date in Britain. It is very unusual to be able to see in one building the three rooms serving the three functions of a medieval guild; business and social in the Great Hall, charitable in the Undercroft and religious in the Chapel.

The Company Hall at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall has recently been dated using tree ring technology and celebrates its 600th Anniversary in 2015.  The main timbers were felled in forests to the North of York between 1410-1413 and the Hall was completed in 1415 / 1416.  Although mainly used as a meeting place for the Company to carry out its business, the Hall has in the past also been used as a school and theatre.  It is now used to host a variety of events including weddings, dinners and conferences.