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York City Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bootham Bar; Micklegate Bar; Walmgate Bar; Fishergate Bar; Monk Bar; Castlegate Postern; Fishergate Postern; Layerthorpe Postern; Skeldergate Postern

In the civil parish of York.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of York.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire Ainsty & York.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE599522
Latitude 53.96024° Longitude -1.08718°

York City Wall has been described as a certain Chain Tower, and also as a certain Urban Defence.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Substantial remains of medieval wall and gates. Some parts of the wall reuse Roman wall. Possible new defences earthwork built by Danes in C9. William I dammed the Foss and added water defences to castle and city, and may have strengthened Danish earthworks. Stone walls and gates added from late C11-early C12 and continual additions, improvement and repairs made for the next 400 years. Still provided major defence in Civil War. Regular Murage granted from 1251 until 1449 when granted 'for ever'. An iron chain continued the defences across the river Ouse.
These walls and ditches, together with the castle, the Fishpond of the Foss, and the two rivers made a defensive ring that completely surrounded the city. The restored wall today lies along the whole of that circuit except in three short stretches: a few yards along the front of Museum Gardens, which was ruinous in the late 16th century and upon which houses were probably then built; 125 yards of the wall south-west of Bootham Bar, which were destroyed in 1832 when St. Leonard's Place was made; and between the Old Baile and the river, of which the part between Skeldergate Postern and the river was cleared away with the postern in 1808 and the remainder in 1878. The stretch between Fishergate Postern and the present bank of the Foss was filled by the river until it was canalized in 1793. The walls have been frequently repaired, the repairs often amounting to rebuilding. Throughout the 4,840 yards of its length, for example, were interval towers of varying construction and size; Leland saw them and made a note of their number but it is not the same as that now to be found on the restored walls. (VCH)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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