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Richmond Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Bargate; The Bar

In the civil parish of Richmond.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ17030074
Latitude 54.40182° Longitude -1.73913°

Richmond Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


a stone gateway, known as the Bargate, which was constructed as part of the medieval town defences of Richmond. Also included is the ground through the archway and on either side in which remains of the medieval ground surface will survive. The gateway is located to the west of Richmond castle at the top of a steep slope leading down to the river Swale. The Bargate was constructed in the 14th century when a wall was built around the centre of the town primarily to keep Scottish raiders at bay. Grants for the building and repair of the wall were made in 1313, 1337 and 1341. The threat was considered real and in 1314-1315 the Archbishop of York instructed the warden of Richmond Friary to preach against the Scots and rouse the people to resist. The town wall followed a circuit around the western, northern and eastern sides of the town: the southern side being formed by the castle. It was built along the rear of the plots of land that extended from the back of the properties which surrounded the market place. It is likely that the wall was built along the line of an earlier feature, probably an earthen bank, which defined the limits of the formal planned town of Richmond established in the early 12th century. The town defences enclosed an area of 18 acres (7.2ha), half of which was taken up by the castle. The town wall fell into disrepair and by the 1540s was described as ruinous. Although none of the wall survives today, most of its circuit can still be traced in the current street plan The Bargate was built in the south western part of the defences to allow access for pedestrians and horses to and from the suburb clustered around the green located outside the town to the south west. Other gateways were built at the principal points of entry into the town, being located on Finkle Street on the western side, Millgate on the south eastern side and Frenchgate on the northern side. These were demolished by 1773 in order to allow traffic movement. A further pedestrian gate known as the Postern Gate, which still survives, was built in the northern part of the defences to allow access to the Friary to the north of the town. The Bargate comprises a stone built structure measuring 8m north to south by 2.5m deep and is approximately 6m in height. It is constructed of randomly coursed rough stones. There is an opening 1.8m wide through the centre of the structure. On the external (western) end of the opening there is a segmented pointed archway. The top of the structure is rounded. The ground through the archway and on either side is cobbled. There is a stone buttress on the western side of the gateway. There is no evidence that the medieval wall which originally extended to the north and south of the gateway survives. On the northern side the monument abuts a house and to the southern side it abuts a garden wall. The monument also includes the ground for 3m to the west of the structure and as far as the wall to the east of the pavement on the eastern side of the structure. These areas will include remains of the medieval ground surface and also provide for the support and preservation of the monument. (Scheduling Report)

Murage grants made in 1313, 1337 and 1400. Gatehouse is unable to identify what the scheduling report means when it states that a grant 'for the building and repair of the wall' was made in 1341.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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