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News release - Issued by Merchant Adventurers Hall

Flood-hit Medieval Guildhall to reopen for JORVIK Viking Festival

York’s Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, which was badly affected by the Boxing Day floods in the city, is to reopen to the public in time for the 32nd JORVIK Viking Festival.

The ground floor of the Medieval Guildhall including the Undercroft and Chapel were under a metre of water just over six weeks ago and a mammoth effort has been undertaken to get the Hall up and running in time for festival activities.

The Hall will reopen on Monday 15th February for JORVIK Viking Festival’s ever-popular children’s ‘Have-a-Go Sword Combat’ in the Undercroft, as well as playing host to ‘10th Century Traders’ a Viking themed shopping experience from Friday 19th through to Sunday 21st February as well as popular children’s author David Macphail talking on his new book series, ‘Thorfinn the Nicest Viking’ in the Great Hall on Wednesday 17th before opening fully to visitors on Monday 22nd February.

Lauren Marshall, Hall Manager and Audience Development Officer said, “It’s been a very difficult period at the Hall but with a lot of hard work and some fantastic support from the people of York and further afield we’re delighted to be in a position to reopen and to once again host events as part of the JORVIK Viking Festival”.

The flooding in the Hall over the festive period reached the highest known recorded level and although open to visitors, it will be some months before certain areas are fully operational. The walls and flooring in the Undercroft and the 17th Century wooden pews in the Chapel were saturated, so the drying process will continue whilst the Hall is open.

Lauren explains, "Work to dry out and repair the ground floor of the Hall will continue in the coming weeks and months allowing visitors to see at first-hand the conservation work taking place and to see how this unique building was built to cope with flooding. Opening for the JORVIK Viking Festival is just the first step in a long process but we’ll be back to our Medieval best in no time!"

Danielle Daglan, director of JORVIK Viking Festival commented, “We are so pleased that the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is able to host our events again this year for Viking Festival. We have been fortunate that in spite of the flooding to York, which of course, affected JORVIK Viking Centre as well, we have only had to find an alternative venue for one our events. This shows that York is really open for business and ready to welcome visitors for February Half Term!”

The JORVIK Viking Festival takes place 15th - 21st February, for more information visit


For more details please contact:

Lauren Marshall
Hall Manager and Audience Development Officer
Telephone: 01904 654818