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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Museum makes capital gains from York's medieval status

York's status as the capital of the North is told from next month through an exhibition of some of the most prestigious and significant medieval objects ever found in Britain.

Opening on 16 February, the new exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum will tell the extraordinary story of how great swathes of the country were ruled from within the city's walls during the medieval period. It will explore famous events and people connected with the medieval city.

Some of the museum’s most prized objects, such as the Cawood Sword, the Escrick Ring and the Middleham Jewel will feature as well artefacts rarely on public display.

Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology, said: “From the fifth century, for a thousand years, York was the northern city, the place from which the powerful ruled. Kings ruled the country from here. Archbishops led the Church from here; traders and merchants made their fortunes here.

"This exhibition will look at how York became so powerful and the men and women who made it so.“

The exhibition will start with a film which will be triggered by a coloured bookmark picked up by the visitor and placed on a sensor. There are two different colours, with one playing a film geared towards a children’s audience while the other is for adults. Both will serve as an introduction to medieval York and the exhibition.

A thousand years of history will be covered from the departure of Roman rule in the fifth century to the mid-sixteenth century. It will be set out in chronological order and divided into eight distinct periods — Anglian, Viking, Norman, Angevin, House of York, People of York, Tudor and Rediscovered.

Further information about the museum is available at