£1.5m investment to preserve York’s 1,900 year old walls

City of York Council is investing £1.5 million to preserve and protect York’s medieval city walls, which are renowned as being the finest and most complete walls in England.

Stretching over 3.4 kilometres, they are also the longest historic walls in the country too. With five main ‘bars’ (big gateways’), one postern (a small gateway), one Victorian gateway and 45 towers, it takes around two hours to walk the entire length of the walls.

The council already invests around £100,000 a year on routine monitoring and inspection, but more funding is urgently needed to ensure the 1,900 year old walls can be preserved for years to come.

Approval was given back in February to invest council capital funding into a five-year programme of works.

These works are now set to get underway this spring to make further and much needed improvements to:

  • Monk Bar steps: which have become sunk and twisted
  • Replacing Micklegate roof: in addition to the new roof, two new walkways gates will be installed. This will allow the museum to remain open when we close the walls for operational reasons. Road closures will be in place for traffic. Pedestrians will continue to have access. More details to follow.

Repair and restoration works at:

    • Tower 39, tower 32, tower 2, Bootham Bar to Robin Hood Tower, Anglian Tower and Red Tower utilities.

Cllr David Carr, leader of City of York Council, said:“York’s city walls are the most complete and finest in England, making them one of our most treasured and significant historical assets. This is why it’s so important we continue to invest in preserving and protecting them.

“Over a million people take a walk through 1,900 years of history on the walls every year and we hope through this investment many more visitors will continue to enjoy them.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, deputy leader of City of York Council, said:“York City Walls are a key symbol of the city and are valued by residents and visitors alike.  This exciting five-year programme of investment will ensure that York’s Walls are safe and secure for everyone to enjoy.”

Shelagh Garside, chair of the Micklegate Traders’ Association, said: “As Micklegate Bar is the royal entrance to the City of York, it is imperative that it is kept in good repair. We are proud of our bar and the museum that is housed in it and after consultations regarding the work that needs to be carried out, we realise that this needs to be done to preserve and protect the bar for future generations to enjoy.”

The city walls are open every day from 8am to dusk. To find out more about the walls visit: www.york.gov.uk/citywalls

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