Lordy, lordy! Two mayors unite to herald Yorkshire Day

Lordy lordy… Medieval Lord Mayor of York William Snawsell (played by Finn Bringham) meets the modern holder of the office, Cllr Ian Gillies as Yorkshire Rose petals rain down
1 Aug 2014 @ 10.16 am
| History

The mayor pair teamed up for a flower-powered launch of the Yorkshire Medieval Festival

Lordy lordy… Medieval Lord Mayor of York William Snawsell (played by Finn Bringham) meets the modern holder of the office, Cllr Ian Gillies as Yorkshire Rose petals rain down
Chain gang… Medieval Lord Mayor of York William Snawsell (played by Finn Bringham) meets the modern holder of the office, Cllr Ian Gillies as Yorkshire Rose petals rain down

Two Lord Mayors of York separated by six centuries defied the laws of time to unite in celebration of Yorkshire Day – and a month of medieval merriment.

William Snawsell, Lord Mayor in 1468, met up with his contemporary counterpart Cllr Ian Gillies under Monk Bar and a flurry of Yorkshire rose petals.

It is not the first time that Snawsell has welcomed VIPs into the city – as one of the city’s most influential figures, he would have greeted both Richard III and Henry VII when they arrived in York.

The two mayors came together at Monk Bar – home to the Richard III Experience – to launch Britain’s biggest medieval festival.

New tradition?

Medieval festival director Danielle Daglan hopes that using flower power to welcome Yorkshire Day will catch on.

“It seems only appropriate that we celebrate both the white rose – a symbol of York and Yorkshire, but also of light and joy.

“We are hoping that this can start a new tradition – Micklegate Bar may be where monarchs are traditionally welcomed into the city, but Monk Bar should be the place to start Yorkshire Day celebrations!”

A month-long celebration of Middle Ages marvels, the Yorkshire Medieval Festival is the creation of the Jorvik Group, which owns the Richard III Experience as well as the Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar.

The fun starts this weekend as Rowntree Park hosts Medieval Merriment, a free, family-friendly weekend of medieval themed events, activities and displays taking place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 August.

Throughout the two days, visitors will be able to meet medieval knights, archers, traders and craftspeople.

Displays will include a living history encampment, battle drills and fully-armoured knights engaging in full-on combat, celebrating the Golden Age of Chivalry, which is thought to have originated in Yorkshire.

Other entertainment will include medieval minstrels and comedic entertainment from traditional jesters.

“We will even be erecting a castle in the centre of Rowntree Park, although swords will not be permitted, as this is of the inflatable bouncy kind,” said festival director Danielle Daglan.

Falconry displays and the ancient sport of Popinjay archery – where the archers aim at brightly coloured birds rather than the traditional bulls-eye – will return to Yorkshire for the weekend.

All the displays at Medieval Merriment are free, but there are charges for some of the hands-on activities, including have-a-go sword fighting, craft workshops and the bouncy castle.

Visitors can purchase medieval coin tokens to participate, priced at £1 each or six for £5.

Medieval Merriment is the first in an extensive programme of medieval-themed events taking place throughout Yorkshire in August, including explorations of medieval churches, themed walks and lectures around York.