Thursday, October 9, 2014

Henry VII Experience, York

A natural sequel to the Richard III Experience in York is the Henry VII Experience, since Henry became king after Richard died at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry's museum is also part of the Yorvik Group and is located in Micklegate Bar, the southern medieval tower through which most visiting royalty came when visiting York.

Micklegate Bar seen from outside the walls

Detail of the exterior

The bar seen from inside the walls

In addition to being the main entrance for royalty, Micklegate was also used to display the heads of traitors and other ne'er-do-wells executed in town. The museum has a small, appropriately gruesome, display about that. This particular head represents Richard, Third Duke of York, and father of Richard III. The elder Richard was killed at the Battle of Wakefield and tradition has it that his head was chopped off and put on display on the battlements of Micklegate. His political opponents put a paper crown on the bodiless head to add some extra mockery. Yikes!

Please mind your head, indeed!

Like the Richard III Experience, this museum includes a mock encampment with a video from Horrible Histories giving children a child-appropriate view of Henry VII.

Tudor encampment


The museum has some armor and a nice fireplace just like the other museum.



A display on medicine from the period is very interesting. Various herbs are shown along with the descriptions of their use. Visitors are not allowed to try them out, however.

Period costume and objects

Apothecary smorgasbord

Ye olde warning label

Another interesting bit is a carved stone taken from a nearby section of the city wall. The carving dates back to only the 1800s and is of Thomas Hessey. His son Mark carved it as well as tombstones in nearby graveyards.

Thomas Hessey carving

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