The word Bayle (pronounced Bay-ul) is derived from the French word Baille meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘ward’.
Archaeological surveys have concluded the original stonework dates to the 12th Century when it is originally thought to have been a gatehouse to a wooden palisade castle built by William Le Gros in 1143, although little information remains as to the further use of the building until the early 14th Century.
In the 14th Century the Bayle Gate was adapted to become the Gatehouse to the Bridlington Priory; the ground floor of the then 2 storey building housed a Porter and an Almoner.
The role of the Porter was to monitor the comings and goings of the people, take tolls for the entrance to the Priory markets and receive visitors. The Almoner distributed food and ale to the poor of Bridlington. The first floor rooms were likely used as guest rooms as in other monasteries of the region.
Since the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the Bayle Gate has been used for a number of purposes, sometimes simultaneously.
Prior uses include a Prison, a Court of the town, a Schoolroom for merchant’s apprentices, a Garrison for Napoleonic soldiers on route to Scarborough Castle, a Town Hall and a meeting room for the Lords Feoffees.
Today the Bayle Gate is a Grade I listed Building and scheduled Ancient Monument housing the Bayle Museum.
Today the Lords Feoffees still use the Bayle Gate Courtroom as a meeting room.
The Bayle Museum’s collection is dedicated to the history of the town and local area.
Each year the Museum’s main exhibition, spanning the expanse of the large top floor Courtroom, displays artefacts based on a theme chosen by the Lords Feoffees.
Previous annual exhibitions have included ‘Cheering on the Home Front’, ‘Toys of Yesteryear’ and ‘The Changing Face of Bridlington Harbour’.
The Museum benefited from an extensive refit in 2001.
The display cases and interpretation were completely redesigned to make the Museum more visitor friendly, along with the addition of interactive displays and lifelike models.
The Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and there is plenty to entertain the whole family.
The Bayle Museum is a non-profit establishment and is fully subsidised and managed by the Lords Feoffees and Assistants of the Manor of Bridlington.
The Museum is a major asset to the Lords Feoffees and is dedicated to historical and social education.
Educational groups are invited to visit the Museum free of charge. Bookings can be made to explore as a class, take part in a guided tour or hold a customised activity session.
Bookings can be accommodated outside of normal opening hours subject to staff availability. (Admission policy applies)
Education providers can arrange with us to visit free of charge in advance of booking a group visit to see what the Museum has to offer.
The Lords Feoffees have limited funding available to assist with transportation costs for school groups visiting the Museum as part of an educational activity.