Later Europe (1550 – 1750AD)

Fostered by a rediscovery of classical philosophy, art and literature, the Renaissance was a period of cultural, artistic and economic rebirth that fuelled the expansion of European nations during the 14th to 17th centuries and brought about great social change.  

In Europe, Church and State became split between Catholic and Protestant factions, leading to religious wars across the Continent.  In the 17th century, a professional class of merchants, shopkeepers, doctors, lawyers and army officers emerged, but most of the population belonged to the poorer classes. 

The Museum’s collections from this era include paintings, stained glass, glassware, jetons and coins, ceramics, smoking pipes and rare books. An important collection of legal documents from the Yorkshire Dales was donated in 1987.