Travel back in time to Medieval York With The Guild of Scriveners of the City of York UK.
The Sheriff of York hereby summons all able bodied persons to celebrate the Ancient Custom of the Assize of Ale Commencing 2 P.M. at the Steps of the Mansion House York.
This event happens every August in the city
Info on York UK

History of the Assize of Ale

In the Middle Ages the Kings were concerned that the ale in York should be of suitable quality. Each year They commanded the Sheriff of York to summon together his sergeants to test the quality of the ale.
Any sergeant who failed to answer the summons was guilty of an offence and liable to fines or the pillory!
The Assize of Ale continues to this day. The Sheriff summonses his sergeants in the Queen's name. Nowadays the Assize is organised to have fun whilst raising money for charities. The fines have been replaced by donations from those taking part.
In the run up to the Assize, and on the day itself, members of the public can enjoy and take part in fund raising activities.
In participating public houses there will be treasure maps. Visit the hostelries which are helping in the Assize, knowing that, by taking part you will be having fun and helping local charities. You will also have the possibility of winning a prize. The winners will be announced in individual pubs.

The Assize of Ale Charities and Acknowledgements

The main purpose of the Assize is to have fun and raise as much money as possible for local charities.

Each year the local charities are chosen by the Lord Mayor of York and the Master of the Guild of Scriveners of the City of York.

This years charities are:-

  • York Schools and Youth Trust (Reg Charity 1057991)
  • St Leonard's Hospice - York (Reg Charity 509294)
  • Age Concern York (Reg Charity 500792)
The Guild of Scriveners also wish to thank all the organisations who support the Assize of Ale, supporters of the Charities and the many donors of money too many to mention in this leaflet but nevertheless essential.


2.00 PM Sheriffs address on the steps of the Mansion House

Processional Routes

Route A Leader: John Latimer
  • 2.30 The Tap & Spile, 29 Monkgate
  • 3.00 The Royal Oak, 18 Goodramgate
  • 3.30 The Golden Slipper, 20 Goodramgate
  • 4.00 Last Drop Inn, Colliergate
  • 4.30 The Golden Lion, 9 Church Street
  • 5.00 The Punch Bowl, 7 Stonegate
  • 5.30 Ye Olde Starre Inne, 40 Stonegate
Route B Leader: Nic Marsden
  • 2.30 The Blue Bell, 53 Fossgate
  • 3.00 The Golden Fleece, Pavement
  • 3.30 Lendal Cellars, 26 Lendal
  • 4.00 The Maltings, Tanners Moat
  • 4.30 Hole in the Wail, High Petergate
  • 5.00 The Three Legged Mare, High Petergate
  • 5.30 Ye Olde Starre Inne, 40 Stonegate

The Guild of Scriveners of the City of York

The first reference to the Guild has been traced back to 1487, The Guild governed those who could generate legal documents in the City of York. This ancient Guild was reconstituted in 1991. Its current activities are based around the establishment and maintenance of close contacts and co-operation between fellow members in the promotion of:
  • A benevolent foundation for the care of others in York
  • High professional standards within the clerical professions
  • An involvement by the clerical professions in the civic life of York.
Other pubs supporting The Assize of Ale
Dunnington Sports Club, Dunnington
The Spread Eagle, 98 Walmgate
Fiesta Mehicana, 14 Clifford Street
The Flag and Whistle, Huntington Road

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