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International Hanse Day

Hull's International Hanse Day: Saturday 13th May 2017

On Saturday 13th May 2017 Hull High Street will be transported back to the middle ages when the medieval Hanseatic League was at its peak. A ship has just arrived and market day is in full swing. The townsfolk are going about their business but all have their own secrets to hide. Join us as the story unravels. Re-enactors will line the street – spot the baker, candle stick maker, incense trader and fishing net weaver. Our medieval Mint will join us again – giving you the chance to hammer your own coin – along with our popular Potter and everyone’s favourite fire breathing Jester, Peterkin the Fool. Music from Hautebois and travelling minstrels, Merrie Noyse, will float down the street as you immerse yourself in medieval Hull. Take care not to find yourself locked in the stocks!

New for 2017 is our mini farm - a chance to learn about livestock in the middle ages and cuddle a lamb at the same time!

The Museums Quarter garden will be where we celebrate the modern Hanse with traditional customs from our Northern European partners. Dance, song, storytelling and craft can be enjoyed on our stage. Whet your appetite and visit our food, drink and market stalls. Try your hand at a range of children’s crafts and activities.
Join us as we tell the story medieval Hull and celebrate our connection to the Hanseatic League, both past and present.

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Peterkin The Fool

International Hanse Day
Back by popular demand, Peterkin the Fool will once again be creating mischief. Watch out for his circle of rope as that means the fire breathing show is about to start!

Merrie Noyse

Hanse
A medieval travelling entertainer, follow your ears to find our travelling minstrels as they meander our medieval street. Why not stop them and ask them for a tune?

Medieval livestock (mini farm)

International Hanse Day
Oink, Baaa, Hee haw - the animals are in town and can't wait to meet you! Learn about livestock in the middle ages by visiting our mini farm, courtesy of The Animal Co.

Haute Bois

Hanse
Gather round and listen to music being played on the bagpipes, tabor, oud, clarion, pipe and tabor, rebec, and bladder pipes incorporating the earlier harp, bells, symphonie, flute and voices.

Candle Maker

Hanse
Candles were used extensively in medieval times, particularly in the churches, abbeys and cathedrals of the time. Learn how they were made in this demonstration.

Incense Trader

Hanse
Spice and incense trading was a significant part of medieval Britain. Learn where they came from, what routes were used to reach Britain, what method of transport was used along the way.

Bread Baker

Hanse
What's that smell? Bread was a staple of the medieval diet. Learn how it was made with our bread making demonstrations. 

Medieval Mint

International Hanse Day
Hear that? It's the clink clank of the Medieval Mint as he hammers his coins. Pop by to see how they were made and maybe have a go yourself!

Potter

International Hanse Day
Potters were craftsmen in clay, porcelain and early forms of ceramics. A messy job but someone's got to do it! Go and see the Potter at work creating clay masterpieces.

Fishing & Net Making

Hanse
Fish was another diet staple in medieval times. This demonstration shows how nets were made, the tools used, and how fishing and fish fitted into the diet of the time. Why not have a go at weaving a fishing net?

Robert The Shipmaster

International Hanse Day
A skilled navigator and swashbuckling hero, Robert is newly returned from a long voyage. He has a strong bond with his crew and a wealth of stories from his journeys across the known world. Once home he seeks comfort and sustenance at the local inn with his shipmates. A well respected seafarer who is admired by many!

Benedict The Merchant

International Hanse Day
Our once prosperous merchant has fallen on hard times. He’s turning into a shrewd sly man who is conniving and manipulative and uses these traits to gain things. His own greed shows he cares not about his workers and is more interested in the glint of a silver coin and his heavy purse.

Isabella The Merchant’s Wife

International Hanse Day
A savvy social climber, she has idea above her station. She has a taste for fine things, and is strong willed and conniving, gaining things by manipulation. She dislikes having to live near the peasants around her modest town house. Things have been difficult of late and life is not what it was...although Isabella won't let it show!

Ralf The Potters Apprentice

International Hanse Day
Ralf has been bound to learn the trade of a master potter. It’s hard work, and Ralf dreams of following the sailors and traders who pass through the town. He is bound to his master for many years and wishes for a life at sea, a life of adventure!

Meric The Monk

International Hanse Day
Meric our Monk has travelled from Meaux Abbey near Beverley. The Monks breed sheep and trade their wool with the wealthy merchants. They also brew their own ale at the Abbey of which Meric likes to drink, occasionally he practices his Gregorian singing!

Thomas The Harbour Porter

International Hanse Day
A simple man, uneducated and easily led, Thomas loads and unloads heavy cargo from the ships. He works for Benedict the merchant, who tries to draw him into shady dealings. He works hard for little reward and keeps his head down but can be easily drawn into town gossip which lands him trouble!

Celebrating Modern Hanse in Museums Quarter garden

Storytelling

Hanse

Children's crafts and activities

Hanse

Stage performances

Hanse

Food and drink

International Hanse Day

Market stalls

Hanse
International Hanse Day
There's so many craft activities on the day, this will give you some practice -print off our jester for some colouring fun!
International Hanse Day
Download our map to start planning who you'll visit first!
International Hanse Day
Let these images from 2016 whet your appetite!
Hanseatic Map

Hanseatic History

In the mid-13th century, seafaring merchants from across Northern Europe joined together to form the Hanseatic League as a way to pursue their shared economic interests. Throughout the North Sea and Baltic Sea region, up to 200 towns and cities were members of the League. Hull was one of several associated trading cities in the UK, exporting such items as wool, cloth and salt. Some days up to a dozen ships arrived into Hull with imported timber, canvas, furs, iron, flax and pitch. For over 400 years the League played a major role in shaping economies, trade and politics before losing its significance in the mid-17th century. Hull's Old Town still retains its medieval street footprint (one of only 2 in Yorkshire). In 2012 Hull joined the new Hanse - a partnership of over 180 towns and cities across Northern Europe which were part of the original Hanseatic League.