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News release - Issued by Barley Hall

Wolf Hall Costumes Come To Barley Hall

Six sumptuous costumes from the smash hit BBC2 period drama, Wolf Hall, are on display at historic Barley Hall this autumn.

Intrigue, betrayal, lust and jealousy - these are just some of the emotions explored at a new costume exhibition chronicling the machinations at the court of the one of England’s most infamous monarchs, Henry VIII.

Based on the international bestseller by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall explores the rise of Thomas Cromwell, a Blacksmith’s boy who becomes the right hand man to some of the most powerful men in England. The book, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2009, was transferred into a lavish period drama for BBC2 in 2015, and quickly became a ratings hit for the channel.

“We are thrilled that Barley Hall is playing host to six of the most beautiful costumes from Wolf Hall. Our ‘Power & Glory’ exhibition already explores the complex relationships at Henry VIII’s court, as well as his only visit to the city in 1541, so these elegant Tudor costumes will feel right at home.”

Said Paul Ruxton, Site Manager for Barley Hall.

Indeed, the characters for each of the costumes on display had to deal with the fractious issues at the Tudor court, from political one-upmanship to illicit romances…

“You will have the chance to see Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon’s costumes next to each other in the exhibition. These two women despised each other; Katherine, the daughter of two monarchs and a stalwart of tradition looked down upon the upstart Anne and you can see the differences in their costumes. Katherine’s are regal, with heavy fabrics in deep colours, whereas Anne is more fashion conscious, taking inspiration from the French court, wearing lighter, colourful garments.”

It’s not just the female characters on display, Barley Hall have been granted access to the costume of Thomas Cromwell, as worn by acting-heavyweight Mark Rylance, who won great acclaim playing the formidable Tudor lawyer.

“We are looking forward to visitors discovering these sumptuous costumes; they can get up close, feel the fabrics and get transported back in time to the Tudor Age!”

Commented Mr Ruxton.

Wolf Hall Comes to York will run from September 2016 to 31st March 2017 and is included in the admission price to Barley Hall; £6.00 for adults, £4.50 for concessions and £3 for children.

For more information and to pre-book your tickets visit or call 01904 615505.


All images can be downloaded here:

Any Wolf Hall promotional images used must carry the copyright: © Company Pictures / Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015

List of Costumes in Barley Hall:

Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

Mark Rylance was rightly fêted for his steely performance as the brilliant but historically-maligned chief advisor to Henry VIII in the BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning novels. Rylance has long been known for his theatre work, particularly as the first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, but his film and television appearances have also won him critical acclaim and awards, winning the Television Bafta for Wolf Hall and the Film Bafta and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Bridge of Spies, all in 2015. He is often named by other performers as their favourite actor.

Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

Claire Foy is no stranger to costume dramas, having had previous starring roles in other lavish BBC productions such as the highly-acclaimed Little Dorrit and The Night Watch. As Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, Foy has been praised for her sophisticated and magnetic approach to a figure defined by her relationship to the King.

Sumptuous costumes of silk and velvet were painstakingly recreated using original Tudor techniques for Foy’s character, with light colours and lavish patterns being chosen to highlight the contrast between Anne and the stately Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife.

Katherine of Aragon (Joanne Whalley)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

Joanne Whalley has had numerous television credits throughout her career, including several prominent roles in costume dramas such as Mary I in The Virgin Queen and Vannozza dei Cattanei in the Showtime historical drama The Borgias. Her role as Katherine of Aragon in Wolf Hall sees the actress play the intelligent and devout queen after over 20 years of marriage to Henry VIII during the events surrounding his pursuit of one of her ladies-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn.

The Duke of Norfolk (Bernard Hill)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

A crucial figure at the court of Henry VIII, Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, has been portrayed several times on film. As uncle to both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, Norfolk played a major role in the arrangements of their marriages to Henry VIII as a means to maintaining his political influence.

Bernard Hill is well-known for a variety of dramatic and historical roles, getting his start in the 1980s TV drama Boys from the Blackstuff and going on to star in such high-profile films as Titanic and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Jane Boleyn (Jessica Raine)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, was the wife of George, brother of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Jane was a member of the household of Katherine of Aragon, and served as a lady in waiting to her sister-in-law, as well as Henry’s third, fourth and fifth wives.

Jessica Raine is best known for playing midwife Jenny Lee in the BBC drama Call the Midwife and has appeared in a variety of other television and theatre roles.

Stephen Gardiner (Mark Gatiss)
From Wolf Hall (2015), BBC, UK
Costume Design by Joanna Eatwell

Less well known than some of the more flamboyant figures in the Court of Henry VIII, Stephen Gardiner was nevertheless a highly competent diplomat and advisor. Serving as secretary to Thomas Wolsey, he was part of the diplomatic team sent to Europe to solve the king's 'Great Matter' and distinguished himself early on.

Mark Gatiss is a versatile performer with acting, writing and comedic successes under his belt, most recently acclaimed for his work on the BBC series Sherlock, which he co-created.

About Barley Hall:

Once home to the Priors of Nostell and a Lord Mayor of York, Barley Hall is a reconstructed medieval townhouse located right in the heart of the city. It spent decades hidden behind a modern facade before archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust discovered the hall and spent years restoring the building to it’s former glory.

Barley Hall is part of The JORVIK Group of Attractions, which includes the JORVIK Viking Centre.

Media Contact:

Paul Whiting
Marketing Manager
01904 615505